04 December 2017

Changi seagrass meadows are alive!

Large sea stars, seahorses and more! As we explored a Changi seagrass meadow on a rainy evening.
The shore was full of stars. I saw some medium sized Knobbly sea stars. a few Common sea stars, a few Biscuit sea stars, and a few Sand stars.


Here's a quick glimpse at the seagrass meadows and some of the interesting animals I saw.
Living seagrass meadows of Changi, Dec 2017
Changi is a hot bed of echinoderms, which include sea urchins. There were a few small Black sea urchins in clusters. And very few large White sea urchins. All of them were 'carrying' stuff so they are quite hard to spot.
There were a few small Haddon's carpet anemones and Mini carpet anemones. I saw one Big hermit hitching anemone and one Common peachia anemone. Only one Cerianthid.
There were lots of Thorny sea cucumbersand Pink warty sea cucumbers. As well as many Orange sea cucumbers and Purple sea cucumbers. I saw one Ball sea cucumber and one Smooth sea cucumber.
I saw one Noble volute,  a Miliaris cowrie, and Waved mitre snails laying eggs. Also some Hammer oysters. I noticed many small Window pane shells and many young Fan shell clams.
Today there were lots and lots and lots of Olive flatworms everywhere. We had to walk carefully so as not to squish them. Some appeared to be mating.
Olive flatworm (Tytthosoceros lizardensis)
Kok Sheng pointed out a pair of Batik tailed slugs. The team also saw a Forskal's sidegill slug and lots of seahorses.
Batik tailed-slug (Philinopsis cf. pilsbryi)
It was nice to see that the patch of Smooth ribbon seagrass was still there and getting larger!
Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata)
There were also Fern seagrasses, Needle seagrass and Spoon seagrass.
Sadly, I didn't see any dugong feeding trails today. We saw some on our last visit here in May 2017.
Living seagrass meadows at Changi
Near the seawall at the Ferry Terminal, I saw this Velcro crab. The crab has hooked hairs all over its body and legs, and it carefully attaches all kinds of stuff including living sponges and seaweeds to itself as camouflage. It only reveals itself when it moves!
Velcro crab (Camposcia retusa)
I also came across a Banded mantis shrimp. It was buried on the wave line, and jumped out when I poked at its burrow (I thought it was a sea anemone). Does the shrimp lie in wait here to passing prey?
Banded mantis shrimp (Lysiosquilla sp.)
I had a look at the high shore and there were some mangrove seedlings washed up there. Including some Pisang-pisang and Tumu berau seedlings. These plants are Critically Endangered in Singapore!
Mangrove seedlings washing up at Changi, Dec 2017
On the mid-shore, a collection of plastic trash piles up as it is not cleaned regularly. Only the high shore is cleaned every day.
Fish farm trash on Changi
Many of the large bags clearly used to contain farm feed: for fishes and prawns. Our fish farms are not provided with daily door-to-door trash collection.
There were also large trash like this strange item.
Marine trash on Changi
When we arrived, there was a group of men on working to remove a very long net laid quite far out on the shore. When I approached them, one of the said they were just  members of the community removing the net as it was bad for the shore. The net did not belong to them.
People removing a long net laid at Changi
The net appeared to be recently laid and did not trap many animals yet.
People removing a long net laid at Changi, Dec 2017
Later, I noticed the net had been left on the high shore.
People removing a long net laid at Changi, Dec 2017
There were also a few other people on the shore. Some appeared to be collecting animals (brought styrofoam boxes or a tank with aerator).

Posts by others on this trip

Others on this trip: Marcus Ng.





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