17 May 2014

Changi crowded with life

Today's special find for me is the Blue-elbow hermit crab! There was lots to see in this narrow but crowded Changi shore.
Our shores are so rich because there are animals that live on animals that live on animals!

The hermit crab had a Big hermit-hitching anemone stuck on the shell that it was occupying.
There are many burrowing animals that live on this silty sandy shore teeming with Spoon seagrass. On the left is the feathery feeding tentacles of a buried Ball sea cucumber. On the right is an orange Cerianthid, ringed by the delicate feathery furls of Phoronid worms that live with the Cerianthid. As usual, there are a lot more Cerianthids here than other Changi shores.
Further along, another Cerianthid, with a little Ball flowery soft coral.
I saw a white snapping shrimp that only lives in these soft corals
There were many beautiful Cerianthids aka Peacock anemones of various colours. As well as swimming crabs of various kinds. I also saw some Tiger anemones, and various other burrowing sea anemones.
A small crab was nibbling on this white stuff, which looks like remains of a jellyfish.
This is a Straw tube worm peeking out of its tube.
We saw several Big-head seagrass octopuses. They were rather small but active. Pei Yan saw one carrying eggs!
I saw many tall  Slender sea pens that were sticking out of the ground. Next to this one was a buried Orange sea cucumber. I also saw a few flowery sea pens and Spiky sea pens and one Sea pencil. There were also some Thorny sea cucumbers and many more Warty pink sea cucumbers. Pei Yan found a Sea apple sea cucumber.
A little Spearer mantis shrimp scooted around in the murky water. I saw many tiny and some large Biscuit stars, a few sand stars. But we didn't see any other special sea stars.
Today, there were also many large Geographic sea hares and their pink 'bee hoon'-like egg strings. I also saw one Calf moon snail and some small Fan clams. There were many large Haddon's carpet anemones and many of them had a pair of the usual anemone shrimps.
Today, I couldn't find any sea fans. I also didn't see any large mats of Nest mussels or any Fern seagrass. None of us saw an Estuarine seahorse, although we did see a lot of Seagrass pipefishes.

It was a short low tide and as the sun rose, the tide turned.
Sadly, all our beaches are trashed. Even this one which is cleaned everyday. Among the trash, large clear plastic bags, gunny sacks, many wrappers of snacks.
We had a quick look at another stretch of sandy shore. There is a lot less seagrass here today than when I last saw it in June 2013.
A neat arrangement of fishing and other gear, probably preparing for the high spring tide.
Alas, elsewhere, there were signs of inconsiderate park users.
My last trip to this shore was in June 2013.

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