Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sentosa with the Naked Hermit Crabs

After MIA for about 2 years, I am finally back with the Naked Hermit Crabs for a guiding session, this time at Sentosa. Many do not know that just at the backyard of Underwater World, there is a nice natural intertidal habitat with corals and marine creatures.

I joined Allen who was the guide for this group today. Great to become an OJT again to listen to other people's style of guiding.

Unfortunately, we did not really see that much stuff today, due to the weird tide level which was supposed to go much lower. But I thought I will just highlight a few things in this trip.

The pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant that attracts small animals to their cup shaped lures. These animals would eventually slip and fall into the pitcher and drown in the digestive juices inside, serving as additional nutrients in this nutrient deprived soil. The pitcher above shows the Raffles Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes rafflesiana),

I still recalled my first trip here (which happened to be my second intertidal trip too) which was with the teamseagrass in 2006 when Joesph Lai commented that this was a rare tree. It was until today that I realised that it looked like Xylocarpus rumphii, one of the three species of mangrove cannon trees that can be found locally. PY who was with me today said the same thing which confirmed my suspicions.

And just before we left, a dead catfish allowed me to snap a photo of the spine on the pectoral fin. Many species of catfishes have spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins and some can even deliver an injection of venom, which is why we should not handle them with our bare hands.

At the end of the trip, me and PY headed over to the Nature Niche near Imbiah station. I was quite surprised to know that they have this new nature trail there which is quite similar to the one at Southern Ridges. Perhaps I would visit there some time.

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