Saturday, June 21, 2008

My first hunter seeking at Semakau

Finally had enough photos to today to blog about an intertidal trip. This is because all the while I had been doing guiding and that my camera was too bunky to take out while talking. Today is my first time being hunterseeker so I had all the time to take all the photos I want, and in their natural habitat too!

Lots of the common sea star (Archaster typicus) can be found half buried in the sand. Its so amazing to see their 'starprints' all over the sandy habitat. :)

The anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) is often thought as a commensal shrimp that lives inside its host, the sea anemone. But it may be sometimes parastic by feeding on their tentacles.

Ron found this is the jellyfish which seems to be in season for the past few months. However it is harmless to touch (at least for me), without any stinging sensation. Perhaps this is a different one from the one CH got stung by as I heard?

Ribbon worms (phylum Nemertea) have a long fleshy proboscis used to entangle their prey. They are also the longest invertebrate in the planet, reaching up to 60m long!

I also found two nudibranchs, Jorunna funebris and Glossodoris atromarginata. Both of them feed on sponges which might contain toxins so do not touch them!

Heres our resident giant clam, all exposed during the low tide. Giant clams feed through fliter feeding as well as obtain extra nutrients through their symbiotic algae on their colorful mantle.

The synatid sea cucumber is the longest sea cucumbers found around here among the seagrasses. Hmm, this one reminds me of a maize corn with its individually colored segments...

The ocellated sea cucumber (Stichopus ocellatus) have many pimpled like structures on their skin. It is said that they can eject their innards or melt when stressed.

This had to be the find of the day! Or rather, my find of the day ;p My second time seeing a seahorse only. Oops~ Seahorse are well known for their sex-reversed roles, whereby it is the male that becomes pregnant rather than the female. It was said that they practise internal fertilization, whereby the female deposits her eggs using an "ovipositor". A study actually revealed the sperm duct not located inside its pouch~ which means that it have to somehow absorb back the germ cells back to their pouch.

Saw a new nudibranch today. My fellow guides told me that it is probably a Platydoris scabra.

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