Sunday, June 3, 2007

Morning Semakau!

Finally! My first OJT at Semakau! Mmm...actually shouldnt exclaimed so loud cos nothing to be proud about. Been almost half a year back since I signed up and finally today... Sorry Luan Keng and Ron, and thanx for still keeping me in :)

Todays guiding was with HSBC volunteers whom in the future will also be guiding at this island. I was tagged along with Ron...yeaaaa! Haha cos theres always something new to learn from him ar. And I got my first ever Semakau guide pin, the clownfish.

In the boat, Ron started his 30mins non-stop guide to the audience with his newly armed arsenal, a microphone till we reached our destination. Amazing... O_O, and I finally saw Cyrene reef! Can't wait to go with Team seagrass on Aug.

Arrived just in time to see the rising sun over Pulau Jong. Isn't it beautiful? Further down during our walk, we also saw a rainbow. Damn...think I accidentally deleted the photo =s

Semakau has the largest tape seagrass meadow in Singapore, which happen to be the longest seagrass too. Seagrasses is a very important habitat for many animals, as they provide shelter and protection from currents as well as predators. That is why it is a nursery ground for many animals, especially fishes. So many tini ones! Our gentle giants of the sea, dugongs and sea turtles also feed on them too!

And above, I spotted this blue spotted fan tailed stingray just beside the dead zone. Stingrays are all venomous and the toxin is delivered by a sting located at the tail. Ron mentioned a hilarious comment about that on a good day we will see a stingray and on a bad day someone will step on a stingray. lolz... That was quite a nice one.

And here were the two die die sure can see animals at Semakau.... Was supposed to guide for these two but.... well, can just practise here I guessed ;p

The common sea stars are closely related to sea urchins, sea cucumbers etc. They have amazing powers of regeneration (can see 2 arms regenerating in this pict) but not if the central oral region is damaged. Turning over, we can see that they have many tiny suckers called tube feets which are used for walking. This is actually powered by water in their circulatory system, just like the blood in us. Hence, shouldnt leave it out for too long or it will cause significant stress to them.

The central region is the mouth and sea stars can "vomit" out their stomach to digest food. In this case, common sea stars are detritus feeders and they used their stomach to "mop" the ground for food.

The hairy crabs have another adorable little name, as I remembered from labrador blog, the teddy bear crab. Besides being brown, hairy like a bear, it is also a very gentle animal, unlike its other cousin crabs. It is a master of camouflage, using the coat of hairs to trap sediment to blend in the environment. The hairs also break out the crab's outline when fluffed out in water. They can be poisonous too, due to their diet on zoanthids.

We saw quite a variety of sea cucumbers, but only show 2 here, cos the other pictures are of poor quality...

The sandfish sea cucumber, named as they are found commonly on sandy shores. They are edible but must be treated properly to remove the toxins

Ocellatus sea cucumber, as ID by Samson, with many whitish bumps which I thought as barnacles initially.

Took a few pictures of anemones: Anemones are related to corals, as well as jellyfishies; they all have stinging cells on their tentacles. The central opening is their mouth / anus. Some of them possess tiny algae too, which makes food by photosynthesis for the anemones and gives them their characteristic colors

The branched tentacle anemone

Another one with longer tenacles.

And the beautiful carpet anemone.

And on the carpet anemones lie the anemone shrimp. Too bad we din see any clownfishes today.

Look what the July and Jingkai found! A family of nodular sea stars! Papa, mama and baby. :p Later at prata shop, I was thinking how painful it must be for the male to fertilise the female if he do it like the common sea star (male over female). Ouch~

Lotsa Fan worms seen during this trip. They dun look anything like a worm but they are, just that the lengthy body is hidden in a tube, only exposing the feathery structures. They generate currents and filter particles by their fine hairs, which is transport to the central mouth

Polka dot nudibranch. It feeds on sponges and acquire their toxins so dun touch them!

A new flatworm for me! Have to wait for Ron to ID. Flatworms are flat...duh... and they swim gracefully by using wavy motions on their sides.

Mangrove trees are very tough and can withstand high salinity, wind, loose and waterlogged soil found near the coast. The Bakau tree here have secondary roots growing down from their stem to give additional support to the plant. They can be used to make charcoal.

Mmm...if u notice, my description is getting less detail and more vague lao...Cos I'm on the verge of knockout already....too tired cos just now went cycling to Punggol. Will do another entry on that. Meanwhile thanx for such a nice trip today! All thanx to Ron and the enthusiastic HSBC guys and gals!


DreamerJuly said...


I've missed the Stingray sighting again. Arghz.. haha

But too bad you couldn't get the complete stingray. Nevertheless, nice photo of it =)


JC said...

Tks for this post. Sure helps me to prepare for my 1st OJT there on 16 June.


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