Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sentosa #3

Back again in Sentosa intertidals for the second time after finishing my project at UWW. This time, thankfully with the company of KS and Fiona.

The persistent ks successfully found a nemo under a Giant sea anemone.

Another exciting find by ks again, a cuttlefish. They have an internal cuttlebone which is used to control their buoyancy in water. These "bones" are used to feed birds as a source of calcium.

A juvenile Kite butterflyfish

I never know peacock anemones can be found here!

These sponges look like crystals don't they?

A flatworm trapped in a tiny pool of water

The lovely teddy bear crab on the left and another unknown cousin on the right.

Despite the nearby on going IR reclamation and modifications, nature still managed to find a way to carry on their lives. Lets hope they will continue to survive under these harsh conditions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sentosa Revisit #2

After finishing with my work at UWW, jumped into my booties and got myself ready for an intertidal walk just nearby in Sentosa beach. Firstly went to check out the coast opposite the current in construction IR. I wonder if life beside it have suffered from the increased sedimentation.

An elbow crab, so named due to its long pincers bending like an elbow. Just like the hairy crab, scattered all over the beach, it is difficult to spot them as they are well camouflaged.

Gong gongs are delicacies in the seafood menu. However, it is definitely more enjoyable seeing them alive, watching their shy alien eyes embedded on long eye stalks, peeping out at you.

Strombus sp. conches also have those cute little eyes.

Many tiny anemones were embedded on the rocks

Anemone shrimps added more brilliance to the seemingly luminous carpet anemone

Nudibranch, Dendrodoris denisoni. In Ria's CJ online guide this nudibranch "releases digestive juices that dissolve the sponge into a soup which is then sucked up."

Another delightful find is a small eel which darted fast from rubble to rubble, preventing me in getting a good shot.

Next, went over to the other side hoping to catch a glimpse of sunset...
I was pleasantly surprised to see many whitish stuff floating on the water

They are actually the male flowers of the tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides). Looks quite like styroform beads hor?

A rustle in the trees startle me, but it was just 2 peacocks scrambling through.

A pity the sunset was covered by the clouds today. Hopefully tml will fare better :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sentosa revisit

Back to my favorite beach again in Sentosa. The lowest tide was still rather high but I just wanted to revive the memories of the beautiful coast again before coming again at the full moon.

There is a new signboard on the path down the sea wall. But to me it was not done very well at all, as it indicated of marine life existing down there and then further adding that this part is not covered by Beach Patrol......

The one reason I love this place is due to its beautiful cliffs...

and caves

as well as being 100% natural, unlike the opposite Siloso beach

For people who know about the iconic Broken Soul Cliff... Its route is blocked by a tree which fell from the cliff above.

Deep furrows form from years of water erosion...

The broken soul cliff at side view

pebbles scattered on the ground


Roots of plants dropping down from the almost vertical cliffs

A lone dead tree guarding the shores

Pitcher plants

For people interested in the current state of IR Sentosa~

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Operation Baby Myna

This morning while working in the lab, I over heard Jani and Abby talking about the noisy mynas at outside the backdoor of our lab. We didn't particularly took notice to it, since it was such a common urban bird.

Curiousity soon overwhelm me after the frantic chirping carried on for a few hours. I peeped outside the glass door and saw an adult perched on the railing, and on the floor, a baby Javan myna! Me and Wendy posulated that it at fell down from its nest and true enough, she located it in the ceiling directly above

It was terrified of me and ran clumsy away as I approached it. Its wings are not fully developed too, I guess, since it couldn't fly off.

As would any parent respond, its parents chirped angrily at me, but did not attack.

It also doesn't seemed to be able to walk properly, and can only stand on its knees. The bird later jumped over my side of the lab's corrider into the plant lab's garden. As it was locked, I asked Wee Fong to help me catch it later after his lunch, and then I went for mine.

After I came back, I saw the bird on my table, resting in a pail filled with tissue. It had calmed down alot and seemed to be sleeping somemore.

Me, Wendy and Wee Fong later went to fetch a ladder to reach its nest; which was just a small gap in the ceiling, filled with twigs. Luckily the ladder was tall enough for a short guy like me and the baby jumped into its home. Hopefully its parents will notice its return and continue to nurse it till adulthood.

Felt rather good about this operation :) Although Javan mynas are so common that they can be freely shot at or poisoned, they are still lives. If they are considered a nuisance, what are we then?

Update >> Was initially v worried that the parents might had abandoned their nest and left their child alone. But today heaved a great sigh of relief after seeing one parent flew out of the nest and the fledging beaks peeping out of it. :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Aquatic life at BT

Went with Daniel in his honours project for his Johora singaporeansis project again, this time at BTNR. It was really filled with life! But had limited shots due to low batt and my failing old camera condition.

Pink-headed Reed Snake, Calamaria schlegel. It is non-venomous and said to be a mimic of the venomous Blue Malayan Coral Snake.

A fallen log in our way. The heartwood is blood red in color, looks just like blood... ID anyone?

Lots of forest fishing spider standing on the stream surface waiting for small preys to ambush on.

Cryptocoryne timahensis, a hydrid species aquatic plant found in Singapore. Surprisinginly, it is said to be sterile and found only here so its extremely rare. More on this website.

No Johora singaporeansis found again in this area. Instead, only saw one of the three endemic freshwater crabs in Singapore, a male Johnson's Freshwater Crab (Irmengardia johnsoni) above.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Flying Dragon

Did a severe ID error last time when I said this was a spotted house gecko. Thanks for budak, juan and tidechaser for correcting me. Also Daniel who went one step further to help me email Dr leong tzi ming, our local herpatofauna expert for the species.

This is a Common gliding lizard, Draco sumatranus. As described by him, "It is fairly common around parks & forest edges in Singapore and Southeast Asia. This genus (Draco) has many species though, and most of them only live in good, pristine forest. When you see it 'flying', it is actually gliding, and the sight is quite unforgettable." More on ecology asia.
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