28 April 2017

Seagrassy East Coast Park is alive

There are lush seagrasses growing at the mouth and even inside a canal at East Coast Park!
Seagrass meadows at East Coast Park canal
I saw five species of seagrasses! And a wide variety of animals. Singapore's marine life is astonishing in establishing on reclaimed land.

There were Spoon seagrass, both large and small leaved; Needle seagrass, both broad and narrow leaved; Noodle seagrass and some Tape seagrass. I also saw Sickle seagrass which I didn't see on our last trip. I didn't cross the canal so didn't check on the Smooth ribbon seagrass that I saw there on our last trip in Apr 2016. Among the seagrasses were a lot of Slender pink pom pom seaweed.
Today I saw a lot of tiny to small fishes. Not surprising as seagrass meadows provide shelter for such fishes. These include many tiny to small filefishes, White spotted rabbitfishes. I saw one small Bar-tailed flathead, a Brown goby and Black-spotted goby, and a Longspined waspfish. The rest also saw a Hollow-cheeked stonefish and a Blue-spotted stingray!
There were a lot of Flower crabs from tiny to small ones. I saw one Blue swimming crab and one Moon crab.
There were also tiny hermit crabs and small Orange striped hermit crabs.
There were many small Little red-nosed shrimps. I saw one Ornamented snapping shrimp and one Penaeid shrimp.
I only saw one medium sized Haddon's carpet anemone that seemed a little stressed. It was raining earlier, perhaps all the freshwater flowing down the canal? I saw one small Striped bead anemone, while Nick saw a Peachia anemone. Just like last year, we also saw one Fat-armed jellyfish. But I didn't see any cerianthids or sea pens on this trip.
I saw this feathery animal and thought at first it was a feather star. Fortunately, I didn't touch it and took a closer look. It's a Stinging hydroid. As usual, there were tiny shrimp living int it.
I saw one medium-sized Knobbly sea star, and one Bottlebrush brittle star. Kok Sheng saw many more different kinds of sea stars.
There were many tiny to small White sea urchins. And I think I also saw Black sea urchins. Abel saw some Cake sand dollars.
Some parts of the seagrass meadows were dotted with Tiny red sea cucumbers!
There was a patch with many Bazillion snails and Dubious nerites. I saw one Triton snail, one Spotted moon snail and several Spiral melongena snails. I didn't see any Gong gong or other Strombid snails. There were still many large Fan shell clams.
On the seawall, there were the usual limpets, barnacles, Periwinkle snails, Drills and oysters.
We didn't see any otters today, as we did last year. The tide turned just after sunrise and the water was murky with runoff from the rain earlier so I couldn't take seagrass videos like I did last year.
Seagrass meadows at East Coast Park canal
It's amazing to see life return to reclaimed shores such as these. I hope they can continue to thrive.

Posts by others on this trip

Others on this trip: Debra Tang and Tan Thong Meng, Nicholas Yap.

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