Sunday, May 25, 2008

Semakau Guiding 24-25th May

Its been a very long time since I blogged about any of my guiding trips because I'm always so engrossed in talking and becos my camera is so damn bulky! As a result I had such few photos to talk about. Will buy a new one soon after getting my first pay.

Anyway, this post is for my participants, since they are among the most cooperative, fun-loving and environmentally friendly group I had guided for some time.

Pinyi Sec huddling together during the early morning ride to Semakau. A pity I couldn't get a group photo for this school as my camera batteries die on me soon.

As these walks are all in the morning, there wasn't anyone to drive us to the intertidal zone. We had to walked through the rock bund which the surrounded the island, which is also the only remaining landfill in Singapore. My second group from Tampines Sec marching in the scorching morning sun.

Posing at the tape seagrass lagoon. A single dead trail was created through this huge seagrass lagoon to minimise trampling impacts on our intertidal organisms.

One interesting creature R found was this curious-looking sea anemone. The tentacles were the brownish parts which were retracted. What kind of anemone is this? Apparently, R had seen a similar one previously at Changi. Are these anemones free-living?

And back on the return trip, the gals continued to slp, while others can't resist the chance to make some funny gestures on their friends.

Back on MS jetty, many pretty needlefishes were swimming around.

A short posting~ but I promise ll cover more once I'm armed with my new camera.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ctenus floweri

On a grass patch along Kent Ridge road, one of the Japanese students, Misaki found a large unknown spider of 5cm during one of the biodiversity workshops. It was taken back and showed to the spider expert, David Court.

He identified this spider as probably Ctenus floweri, from the family Ctenidae. He explained that this spider is not commonly seen by people, but it is not rare, just that its habitat, among leaf litters is not of one that people will frequent. Spiders from the Ctenidae family hunts actively for food.

Photos taken by David Court

Upside Down Swimming

Perhaps it might not to others, but for noobish people like me it seems incredulous that horseshoe crabs actually swim upsidedown! And some of us were lucky enough to witness it during one of the coral spawning. Most of us thought that it was probably an injured or dead horseshoe crab floating face up on the water surface. Mr Lee scooped it up and the crab turned up to be a perfectly healthy one, because it was struggling so feriously on the boat.

Horseshoe Crabs are actually not crabs but more towards spiders. They are also commonly known as "living fossils" because they have changed little for hundreds of millions years. The Coastal Horseshoe Crab, Tachypleus gigas, is one of the two species of horseshoe crabs found locally, identifiable by its triangular and serrated tail.

Did some online surfing regarding this peculiar sighting. Apparently, it was just because of a mere physics and hydrodynamic thing. From Vosatka. Ohio Journal of Science. 70 (1970): 276–283, it was stated that this inverted swimming was due to its body design with the sloping cephalothroax helping to lift itself upwards when it swims. If it swims rightside up, the animal will just keep sinking. The legs of the horseshoe crab as well as the book gills provide propelling force while its tail serves as to nagivate (beside flipping itself up when overturned).

Above shows the swimming process of a horseshoe crab extracted from the journal. Below is a youtube video of a baby horseshoe attempting in vain (from 20s onwards) to swim.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Coral Spawning

In continuation from Peiya's posting (do visit her blog for more information), here are some more pimpled corals from the 23rd to 25th April night diving at Raffles Lighthouse! Really privileged to bear witness to this spectacular event.

Once again, this shows how amazing Singapore waters are!

The "eggies" almost bursting from the coral polyps
Coral Spawning
Coral Spawning
Coral Spawning
Coral Spawning

And finally out they go!
Coral Spawning
Coral Spawning

The end result? Mass Orgy :)
Coral Spawning

Photos courtesy of Karenne Tun and Yujie
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