13 January 2013

Colourful Punggol rocky shore

A daytime trip to Punggol's marvellous rocky shore! The giant boulders are coated in colourful marine life of all kinds. Even though it lies opposite Pasir Gudang port and industrialised coast of Johor across the narrow Johor Strait.
The team had a great time exploring the shore despite spells of drizzles.

All kinds of colourful sponges coat the rocks on this shore! Unlike during our last trip here in Jun 2012, the rocks were no longer coated in a thick layer of nest mussels (Musculista senhousia)
Other interesting marine life include the Crown sea star (Asterina coronata), several Black sea urchins (Temnopleurus sp.), some brittlestars and many different kinds of snails including Ovum cowries (Cypraea ovum). I also glimpsed a seafan in deeper water (the tide is not very low on this trip). It's hard to spot fishes during the day when they are more shy.
One of the special animals found in abundance only on this shore (so far) is the Burgundy anemones (Bunodosoma goanese). I saw several of them so they seem to still be doing well. Mei Lin, Kok Sheng and James were the first to spot them on this shore.
My first time spotting this Drill snail (Family Muricidae) that seems to be in the process of laying its egg capsules. Wow, I didn't know it lays its many cylindrical capsules at the same time. I always thought the capsules were laid one by one.
Here's a strange one. I have no idea what this encrusting creature is.
There were lots of these colourful blob ascidians. I have no idea if they are all actually ascidians, and if they are the same kind of ascidians. Suddenly, a black blob wobbled a little. Curious, for a stationary lifeform that's stuck to a rock.
Under it was a little crab. But it wasn't a sponge crab! Hmmm.. I only noticed this after I got home to look at the photo. Wai noticed it in the field.
I came across a tiny little Wentletrap snail (Family Epitoniidae). Later, Chay Hoon told me they eat Cave corals.
There were indeed some Cave corals (Tubastrea sp.), and I also came across some Zebra corals (Oulastrea crispata).
I also came across these curious looking tiny clams.
A closer look and these bivalves had a long mobile foot and two long siphons. I've never seen anything like it. There's also a nice stretch of pebbly shore where Chay Hoon and Kok Sheng found all kinds of nudibranchs.
During a daytime trip, it's nice to be able to see all the colourful rocks. But a night trip is usually more peaceful as there is less boat traffic which creates huge waves that crash onto the shore. Here is Ivan waiting near to get close to some rocks without getting totally splashed.
Our trip was special because Wai is back with us after a five-year absence as she went overseas to study!
It was also nice to have James back with us after his long overseas study trip. And wonderful to have Nicky Bay join us too. These gentlemen are great at taking photos of super tiny creatures!
Alas, as with all our shores, there is a constant flow of rubbish that lands on Punggol.
More litter in the water.
There were several people foraging among the life-encrusted rocky shore. Some seemed to be just out there for fun, with a small bucket and poking around.
But these two men were seriously and thoroughly working on all the movable rocks near the midwater mark.
The men were armed with sticks and large bags. They seem to be catching large crabs. I noticed they put the rocks back the way they found it after they removed the crabs.
There were also some fish traps laid out in deeper water. Wai found one with a butterflyfish in it. There were also a few fishermen fishing with lines. I didn't notice any driftnets on the shore.
Hopefully, the shore will withstand these pressures and continue to do well. Later today, we'll be back to check out a stretch of Changi that we haven't visited for some time.

Posts by others on this trip
  • Kok Sheng with nudibranch and more sponges!
  • Pei Yan with lots of tiny critters


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