Today, I visited a Changi shore that reminds me so much of Chek Jawa long ago.
Jul 2015. At that time, it was mostly a sandy shore with very little seagrass or other marine life. Today, it has living sandy shores with Button snails, and lush seagrass meadows with lots of marine life.
My most delightful encounter today was with two hermit crabs exchanging shells. Like many Singaporeans, hermit crabs yearn constantly for a home upgrade. For hermit crabs, it's a little more critical as they need a shell that is big enough for them to retract into in order to be safe from nasty predators. But not too big to carry around. Hermit crabs are sensible and won't get a home beyond their means. They will thoroughly test out an empty shell before choosing it. When a hermit crab chooses to take a new shell, its old shell is now available for another hermit crab. More about this process in this old blog post, including why we should NOT take hermit crabs home.
Button snails. These tiny beautiful snails lie just beneath the sand surface, leaving tell tale dots all over the sand. At the Chek Jawa northern sand bar, these snails used to occur in these large numbers too. But I haven't seen them at Chek Jawa for many years now. So it is good to see them at Changi.
Ball flowery soft coral which was home to at least one Ghost brittle star and one Soft coral false cowrie. These were superbly camouflaged, blending in with the soft coral! I only noticed the false cowrie after I got home and looked at my photo.Needle seagrass (narrow leaf blades), with also a lot of Spoon seagrass with the large leaf blades. It was nice to also see some patches of Fern seagrass which is only found on our northern shores.Thorny sea cucumbers and Pink warty sea cucumbers, often next to one another. There were also some Ball sea cucumbers. There were also some White urchins. I saw one Biscuit sea star, but Jonathan saw Knobbly sea stars. In deeper water, I saw several small Noble volutes. I also saw several Lavender hermit crabs which I haven't seen for sometime on Changi. I only saw one living Window pane clam.Haddon's carpet anemones, a Pearly anemone, many Cerianthids, many sea pens of various kinds.Cake sand dollars. Also many Weasel olive snails (which often hunt Button snails). As well as buried Ball sea cucumbers and Acorn worms. There was also a brittle star, which tend to burrow into the sand at low tide.
See Changi shores for yourself!
More details on Changi - an easy intertidal adventure for the family.
What is the future of Changi shores?
Changi shores are precious because they may be reclaimed in the 2013 landuse plan by the Ministry of National Development released in response to 2013 Population White Paper.
Others on this trip: Jonathan Tan
Other shores surveyed today
Chay Hoon checked out Tanah Merah
Kok Sheng check up on an East Coast Park shore