Monday, January 22, 2007

CJ with the Seagrassers (Mass Death)

Had already heard about CJ's plight at the Ubin blog and Ron. I had been at CJ about one month back and the carpet anemones still looked beautiful and plentiful, scattered all over the lagoon and seabar. But they had already lost their sticky feeling last time. Is that a sign of unhealthiness already?

Today, the sight was horrible. Some looked like they had been bleached. Many were uprooted and even more were only left with remains, in bits and pieces.

carpet anemone

carpet anemonecarpet anemone
Remains and Uprooted

There were many noble volute shells around, but none alive. But we instead found quite alot of hermit crabs inside them. A pleasant sight for me, first time seeing such huge ones.

Stripped hermit crab
Stripped hermit crab

peakcock anemone
These beautiful (peacock?) anemones in various striking colors seemed to be surviving well.

We didn't find any dugong trails but instead found others like this one pointed out by kaiqin. Some bird imprints and a small snail pushing its way through the soft sand.

elephant tusk shell Scaphopoda
Is this an elephant tusk shell? Class Scaphopoda, Phylum Mollusk. The hollow shell has a closed tapered end and another open end where its muscular foot burrows into soft substrate to feed using its small tentacles around the foot.

Urchin Test SandDollar
Siti showed us some findings. Remains of the urchin (test) and sand-dollar. She explained how these echindoerms had their mouth at the bottom and its anus located at the top.

thunder crab
A Thunder crab, hiding in a pipe. Forgot to take my adaptor out, which was blocking the flash.

I didn't had the chance to go to the coral rubble last time as the water level was high so I urged my friends over.

snapping shrimp
Snapping shrimp. More commonly heard then seen.

Halophila spinulosa
Just trying to learn another seagrass name. Fern seagrass, Halophila spinulosa

This was an exciting find. A toadfish! It looks cute with its rather flatten head, big red eyes and mouth. Look at how well it is camouflaged.

From there, we ended our exploring and turned back to shore as the sky darkens. The stench of death filled the air as I smelled and saw the ball sea cucumbers lying all over. So much life gone in such a short time. Hope CJ can recover soon.

Our ecosystems are really fragile and we should protect them in whatever way we can, big or small

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