Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Uniquely Singaporeansis!

For those who don't know Daniel, he is the host of the new blog, Johora singaporensis. This was a blog about his honours project on this species of crab. Whats so special about this crab Johora singaporensis? Its endangered and its endemic to Singapore (ie, found only in Singapore), thats special enough right? Whats better than this entry for national day?

Went to help out Daniel today together with Kaiqin, Denise, Shun deng and Tinghui. The location was at this stream called "Polunin" stream cause in order to reach this freshwater stream, we have to go through the house of Dr Polunin and the stream lie just below a slope in the forest behind. The aim is to catch crabs for him to do a population count of the crabs here.

Polunin stream

Seriously, I never imagined it to be such a garang field trip. So many mosquitoes there! And have to get hands and legs dirty and muddy. Haa sorry sound so gu niang but I can never get use to dirty conditions. But well, after working for an hour, sorta became immune to the bites and mud... It soon turned dark as we started in the evening, luckily we borrowed some diving torches from Ngan Kee. There seemed to be more crabs at night, apparently they are more active at night.

Daniel took me and Kaiqin to another channel of stream and it was there I caught my first Johora singaporensis! It was a rather small inconspicuous crab which as Kaiqin ID as it having a smiley face on its carapace (thats just the noobish way of IDing btw). We caught many more as we traced our way upstream.

Johora singaporensis

As we headed back to join up with the rest, we found a large crab (compared to Johora) but it creeped back under the cervice before we can lure it out. Denise even found a bigger one further downstream but dropped it carelessly ;p while handing over to Daniel for ID. Apparently it was a common freshwater crab called, Parathelpusa maculata.
Parathelpusa maculata

Leaving the best for the last, was another tiny crab, Geosersarma sp. Look at the six baby crabbies on its back!

An enjoyable day to sum out, and our hunger pangs returned just right after we finished up at 9pm and released the crabs. Had a quick wash and headed to the nearby muslim shop for dinner before going back..

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Seagrassers @ Semakau

Finally, had the chance to went for a team seagrass monitoring @ Semakau after one whole month of absence from the intertidals in singapore. Pulau Semakau has a vast biodiversity even despite its status as a landfill. Had the great opportunity to pair up with Ria and learn on how to ID some seagrasses new to me; Halodule univervis and Thalassia hemprichii.

There were alot of epiphiytic growth like these ascidians as she pointed out.

After finishing up our transect at Site 1, did a quick look around the area.

A synaptic sea cucumber

Also saw many gelatinous clumps of bubble like things, which Ron suggested might be the mucus laid by fishes.

As me and girl headed back to where RMBR was conducting their walk, I saw this telescope shell creeping on the sand, leaving a long trail behind it.

Alas, by the time we reached to the "death trail" of the seagrass lagoon, I noticed that RMBR had already finished their walk. Sorry Luan Keng for not being able to hunter seek for u. =S

Time was running short and I bought girl to see whether we can find the Semakau mascot, the knoddly seastar. Ron and Kok Sheng, who were returning back from exploring, kindly helped me to locate them again. Thanx man!

other seagrassers blogs
Wondercreations, Mountains and Seas, Wildfilms

and also dun miss Ron's Tidechaser and how he made a 500m dash in the early morning. :) Paisei...

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