Monday, October 20, 2008

SISTERS' island!

Turban Shell (Family Turbinidae)
Its operculum (cat's eye) is smooth ad faces outwards. This prevents crabs from having a grip and pry out the snails within. They grazed on algae on rocks. These shells are listed as endangered due to overcollection for jewellery purposes.

Ths snail coming out wondering whats going on outside?

During low tides, we can see animals like the marine spider (Desis martensii) among the seaweed as well. It hides in air pockets among the rocks during high tide, coming out to feed on small invertebrates when the tide recedes. Its fangs inject poison to paralyse its prey.

Bigfin reef squids (Sepioteuthis sp., probably S. lessoniana) from the family Loliginidae.

Squids are the fastest aquatic invertebrates, reaching up to 40km/h for some! They hunt for snails, clams, crabs and prawns. Squids communicates by changing of colours during their courtship. They camouflage really well from their preys and predators as well.

Can see nemo clownfish at the carpet anemone?(: this fish secretes mucus that disable the anemne from stinging them. is also believed that the movements of the fish inform the anemone of its identity. In return for the anemone's protection, the fish brings scraps to it, and lures larger fish into the anemone's tentacles.

Reef Hermit Crab (Dardanus lagopodes)

They are scavengers, with a good sense of smell. Unlike typical crabs, their back part of body is soft hence they use discarded shell for protection. & as they grow, they change to a bigger shell. //edited thanks ron for pointing out!

Onchidium Slug (Onchidium spp.)
It is very easy to miss them cause they are very well camoufliaged! Without a shell, this creature have developed thick and waterproof skin to protect themselves. though closely related to marine animals, they have developd pseudo-lungs instead of gills to breathe in atmosheric air(;

Sand-sifting seastar on a sexy mood q:

Beautiful moon snail

These land hermit crabs are so well adapted to land that it will drown if kept underwater! So don't pick seashells from the seashore cause you are depriving them from a home!

Black long sea cucumber (Holothuria leucospilota)

These creatures can grow up to 1m long. When disturbed, it ejects sticky white threads to entangle the kajiao-er. It gathers edible bits frm the surface using its long feeding tentacles with bushy sticky tips.

Star barnacles (Chrhamalus sp.)
During high tides, they extend their feathery, segmented legs to gather plankton from the water. It encrust itself on any surface including animals and ships. They are bio indicators- it accumulate heavy metals hence determine the level of water pollution.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

hee apologies for the longgggggg absence.. finally exams are over!


Batik tailed slug (Philinopsis sp.)
Cute pattern(: It has a tiny internal shell. They feed on bubble shell snails, hunt them by following their slime trail then swallowing them whole.

Noble Volute

This living volute is more beautiful han its shell. It seeks out hidden shells and wrapped them with its huge foot to 'suffocate' them. When the bivalve is too tired and open its shell to take a breath, the noble volute will then scrape the flesh out from its prey. not so noble isn't it.

Swimming Anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi )

NEVER pick them up as the tentacles may come off and stick to your hands!

When threatened, they will purposely drop off its tentacle to distract the predator (like lizard?). It harbours zooxanthelle (single cell algae) where it makes food for the anemone while in return the anemone povide shelter and minerals to the algae.

Moon Crab (Matuta lunaris)

As the name suggest, they are more active at night. Moon crabs normally burrow just below the surface during the day. They forage for small shellfish, worms and other animals at night. Their paddle-like legs are specially modified for swimming and digging.

That trip with the methodist girls!

Sources/references: A guide to seashore life & WildSingapore fact sheets(:

Friday, August 15, 2008

flatworm penis fencing

hmm was browsing the net just now & saw this interesting footage

they can 'fight' for an hr?! gosh.

P.S not sure what species though ><

Monday, August 4, 2008


pardon me for the lack of updates. been really busy these days. will update once my exams are over(:

so here's a preview of the upcoming posts q:

Beautiful Sekudu ! frog island.

Semakau stayover !

bbq under the stars woohooo! cool :D

SGF: SAVE THE EARTH ! it's sinking.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

SENTOSA ! will update soon q:
so.. pics preview first ahah.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This morning, went along with SP Rovers to explore our shores(: haha bunch of funny & hyper people.

Hermit crabs crossing seagrass lagoon..! The seagrass lagoon is a rich ecosystem! It provides a calm breeding ground for creatures to lay eggs & juveniles to develop into adults. Note that seagrass is actually a flowering plant! with a proper root system and all.

Ribbon worm.
They may look defenseless. But they are actually fierce predators! Also studies have shown that they habour bacteria that produce poisonous toxins that make them poisonous to eat.


This october that the hunter-seeker found was actually quite large! & it was trying to escape from the container. no wonder it is one of the brainiest invertebrates around. & we actually witness how the octopus change colour to camouflage with its surroundings! cool!

Pregnant male seahorse! as you can see his pouch is actually bloated.

long-spined sea urchin (Diadema setosum)!

They may look immobile, but they are actually able to move by using their spines. Their head & mouth are located at the base. Sea urgin feed on seaweed and algae. The spines can inflict a painful wound if one happen to step on them.

Rhizostome Jellyfish (Order Rhizostomeae)?

I still can remember clearly during kayaking days at obs when one of them happen to vomit on board then we saw these jellyfishes!lol. Like any other jellyfishes, they have umbrella shaped bodies, stinging tentacles and pores at their tentacles where they filter feed for small organisms. Being poor swimmers, they swim by pulsing their bells but usually at the mercy of the currents.

Star Anemone (Condylactis sp.)?

Notice how their 'arms' actually congregate together thus forming a star shape aha.

Soft Corals (Family Alcyonaceae.)

This one looks like heart-shaped isn't it. Soft corals may look uninteresting as they 'flop over' during low tides. But underwater, when expand they look spectacular..! They too possess stinging cells but not dangerous to us human beings as our skin are thick enough (;
Hermit Crab with Knobbly Seastar!

This seastar can be as big as your face! It possess hard skeleton and is not poisonous though it may look like it is with the 'knobs' and everything.
It was again a great trip! Thanks everyone(:
O & happy birthday in advance to Ron, Samson & KS..!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

was rushing off to work as usual yesterday morning. on the way passed by a roadsweeper sweeping off the leaves and all.

luckily i was observant enough to spot these from the (debris) ground(:

beautiful flowers~! though I don't know the ID for it q:

typical city people like us are always rushing and we hardly have time to stop by to notice the beautiful little things around us. so thats why we should slow down our pace at times and take a closer look at our surroundings. esp the plants around cause you never know what you are going to see..!haha.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

hermit crab with jurongville sec!

Yes hermit crabs with the sec 3s from Jurongville secondary! (:

I must say we are wheelie lucky today! We actually saw dolphins on our way to Semakau! (though I only managed to catch a glimpse of it haha) The weather was good- no sun, so the walk to the intertidal flats was actually quite cooling.

& that’s ag with her own group who is a lead guide for the first time ahaha!

Cloudy weather.

Creeper shell (Family Cerithidae)! They usually gather in large numbers to feed on organic matter and algae.

Turban shell(Turbo sp.). They feed on algae and have a round thick operculum otherwise known as the'cat's eye' covering its opening. The 'cat's eye' is often collected for jewellery, buttons and even paperweights(bigger ones that is). They are also collected as food in some countries.

Cowry(Cypraea errones). Note that it actually has a pair of tentacle so it is actually alive! Their shell is covered with mantle which protects it from scratches hence maintaining its glossy appearance. Because of their beautiful nature, cowrie has greatly sought after by shell collectors hence are danger of becoming extinct! Cowrie shells have been used as currency in the past.

Fan worm(probably Sabellastarte indica). Beautiful creature I must say. It lives in its own tube using mucus and sand. Its end has a magnificent fan-like structure that protrudes outside the hole. This ‘fan’ helps to filter water for food which the fan worm can feed on! The tentacles also have ‘eyespots’ that detect changes in light intensity so that it can retract safely into its tube when threatened.

So these are zoanthids(or colonial anemones)! That many creatures like the hairy crab feed on making them poisonous. (the poison is transferred from the zooanthids to the animals which feed on it.)

Ocellated sea cucumber(Stichopus ocellatus)! This is recognisable by its many ‘eyes’. This species actually sput out its internal guts when it feels threatened! However they will still be able to regenerate their organs back. Still during this time they are not able to eat anything!

Flat worm(Acanthozoon sp.). ! They are haemophrodites- which means can be both male and female in nature..! However they will avoid being the female as it is very energy-consuming. They also perform sexual intercourse through ‘penis-fencing’! That is they can poke their penis into any part of the other party.

Pufferfish can inflate their body twice the size to deter predators! This can be done by sucking in or retaining air and water in their bodies. Puffers have also a pair of sharp front teeth that resembles a parrot beak, which enables them to crush on the shellfish and crabs they usually feed on. They are considered a delicacy by the Japanese and Koreans but must be properly treated as they are highly toxic!

Sunflower mushroom coral (Heliofungia actiniformis). Unlike hard corals which exists in tentacles of 6, this is a singly animal! It does not exist in colonies. This particular coral is also detachable from surface as it is not rooted to ground.

Maze coral(Platygyra sp.).

O talking about hard corals, we have some interesting(proud) facts:

There are about 200 species of hard corals in Singapore. Although Singapore's size is only 0.02% of the Great barrier reef, we have almost half the number of species found at there! (:

Nemo~! The clownfish is often found in the sea anemone as it offers them protection with its stinging tentacles. In return for its protection, the clownfish often lure fishes to the sea anemone for its food.

Marginated glossodoris nudibranch (Glossodoris atromarginata). Nudibranchs also mean 'naked gills', as seen in the flowery gills found at their back which is used for breathing. They are sea slugs without shells, however they are able to eject toxins to protect themselves. They are carnivores which feed on immobile creatures like sponges and corals!

Black phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidiella nigra).

They are well-known for ejecting toxins into surrounding waters when stressed! So it is not a good idea of keeping them in your aquarium.

Soft corals(Family Alcyonaceae)

They are closely related to hard corals but they lack in calcium carbonate skeleton. They also possess stinging cells but are usually dangerour to humans.

A Seahorse (Hippocampus sp.) is actually a type of fish! Seahorses are poor swimmers, hence they can only make a short burst of speed when faced danger. One thing I like about seahorse is that the male gets pregnant instead of the females! The female inject their eggs into the male's pouch using a penis-like tube. Inside his pouch, his eggs are fertilised and embedded to the bloodwalls where they obtain the nutrients and oxygen. When the baby seahorses are hatched, the male is ready for another patch of eggs! In other words he is constantly pregnant!

Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora).

During low tides, it can actually harden up making it look and feel like any other rock! It is also edible as long as it is well treated.

Can you guess what is this?

(after flipping over.)

Yea it is the upside down jellyfish(cassiopea sp.)! Their tentacles are often coloured green, due to the presence of symbiotic algae(zooxanthelle). The jellyfish are found upside down as the zooxanthelle makes food for them, in return for a secure home.

Enroute back into the forest, we saw the sea hibiscus(Hibiscus tiliaceus).

It is a one day flower. As in its flower grows and withers within a day- changes colours throughout. This plant is easily recognisable by its heart-shaped leaf.

We were really lucky as it started to pour really heavily only after we board the boat back. Perhaps it was due to the students? Ahaha. All in all, it was a lucky and cool trip! Thanks to the students, guides and everyone!

Do check out the other guides' blogs!