18 November 2016

Babies galore at Changi

An explosion of baby Knobbly sea stars! There were also lots of tiny babies of other marine creatures.
The lush seagrass meadows at Changi appear to be an important nursery for marine life.

There were also many tiny Biscuit sea stars, some tiny Plain sand stars hardly bigger than a seagrass blade. Also some larger Painted sand stars and medium sized Biscuit sea stars. I did not come across any other kinds of sea stars.
Changi is indeed echinoderm heaven. Today, there were many different kinds of sea cucumbers. I saw a lot of floating or unearthed Ball sea cucumbers. I saw a few Orange sea cucumbers, Purple sea cucumbers and Beige sea cucumbers.
There were also many tiny Garlic bread sea cucumbers (I did not see any large ones). While there were many large Thorny sea cucumbers and Pink warty sea cucumbers, I also saw some that were not much bigger than a seagrass blade. Alas, I didn't see any sea urchins or sand dollars on this trip.
The lush seagrass teems with tiny life. Some I only notice after I got home and took a closer look at the photos. In this photo are a small Thorny sea cucumber, Smooth sea cucumber, a tiny swimming crab.
In the above photo, there were also a tiny pipe fish and a small goby. There were also many Longspined scorpionfishes, and I also saw a tiny Kite butterflyfish.
How exciting to come across a tiny little Estuarine sea horse, hardly bigger than a seagrass blade. I haven't seen seahorses on this shore for many years!
There were many tiny anemone-like animals on some of the seagrass blades. I'm not really sure what they are.
I saw two small Haddon's carpet anemones. They had tiny carpet anemone shrimps. I also saw two Tiny carpet anemones.
There were many Peachia anemones. I saw one Tiger anemone, one Big hermit-hitching anemone. I only saw a few cerianthids and no sea pens.
There was also a very lively Spearer mantis shrimp hunting among the seagrasses. I managed this side shot of it which shows its fierce front claws and lots of tiny swimming appendages under its armoured flat broad body. There were also many Orange striped hermit crabs, small shrimps and small flower crabs.
There were a few small Noble volutes and some Gong-gong snails. Also many small whelks.
I came across a few Hammer oysters. Also some Window pane shells, Fan clam shells and Large cockles. I saw many shells of Big brown mactra clam but no living clams.
It was a drizzly evening and not a very low tide. The seagrass meadows are still lush, mainly Spoon seagrass (with large leaf blades) and Needle seagrass. I didn't come across any Fern seagrass. As first observed during our Aug 2016 trip, the seagrasses with dotted with Green gum drop ascidians and clumps of Beige sheet ascidians. There was also a bloom of Sea lettuce seaweed, covering the mid water mark in a thick carpet of green. Probably why I did not see the clump of Smooth ribbon seagrass that we saw on our trip in Aug 2016.
There was one person on the shore collecting with a bucket. This shore is affected by regular harvesting as it is easily accessible. And very long fishing nets are constantly laid in deeper water.

I was glad to meet on the shore, Wayne Tan who has been following our trips online. He has kindly shared the photos of his trip too.


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