Saturday, March 29, 2008

Marina East Exploratory Walk!

Is this Singapore??

Yeap! Went to explore marina east to explore this morning as this area will soon be destroyed to make way for some golf course -.- but the highlight was actually the nudist gay beach haha!

At this pond, we spotted lots of dragonflies(:

there are many more but the rest of the shots are too blur. Spotted a couple of birds as well(: like coucal, blue-tailed bee-eater, pacific swallow and sunbird. Did not take them due to lousy cam haha. can check out ron's and mountain and sea's though.

& of course there are many lovely plants as well.

Simpoh Ayer
Do you know how it got its name? Ayer is water in malay. & since it lives near water, it's called simpoh ayer! It is a very useful plant. The large leaves of this simpoh ayer plant is used to wrap to wrap food and are also used by the tailor birds to make nests. Sap from the twigs or leaf stalks are applied to external wound to stop bleeding!

The Singapore Rhododendron can be used for the cure of diarrhoea. Birds love to eat their fruits, which are also used by people to make 'poh-chai' a traditional stomache medicine.

sea morning glory

Unlike conventional spiders, the St Andrew's Cross Spider pairs its legs into a X shape hence its name! When attacked, it shakes its web till it becomes blurry to its opponent. Thus this spider is not just literally cross in its appearance but in its temperant too! That white zigzag line stabalises the web and deter birds from hitting it. It is also said that like flowers, it reflects ultraviolet light as well hence direct the insects right to the spider!

These places never fail to leave me happy and rejuvenated(:

Nono that is not a safari vehicle. It is a police car aha. Yup due to Indonesia 'idol' mas selamat. The police are hunting him for his autograph.

Enroute to the beach. These people sure know how to find these ulu places so they wont be disturb huh.

ahhh~ nothing. hahaha. it's still a good trip after all with all these beautiful findings(:

all these nature things in exchange for a golf course?!! NAH. BOOOO!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Semakau exploratory trip!

After a few trips with the guides, I am inspired to set up a nature blog, so this is it! Nopenope. Semakau isn't just a rubbish island, theres lots of cool stuff there as well! Various nature groups have organise lots of activities, eg bird watching (heard lots of rare birds are sighted), inter-tidal walks etc.

Today went out on an exploratory trip with Dr Dan and the US students. Again, it was quite a fulfilling trip(:

Thank god the rain has subsided by the time we reach the shores. But we were caught by an unpleasant surprise. we saw a crab (swimming crab i think) got stuck in a fishing net. aiyoo. They released it and tried to remove the net. Then we realise the net was like from one end to the other. super long! and theres a guy laying the net so we decided not to cause unnecessary trouble.

Take note this is soft coral, despite being hard. When cut, it reveals a blue skeleton. Personally i feel that it is good for massage q:

A fan worm is a segmented worm with a feathery fan on its head. Beauiful isn't it? These 'feathers' can actually gather tiny food particles to the central mouth.

Polka-dot nudibranch! Another beautiful creature! This one looks extremely fat so it might have just taken its dinner haha. Nudibranch is also known as 'naked gills'. They feed on sponges. Being shellless, they protect themselves by secreting toxins and this is clearly warned by their bright colours. It also has two little structures otherwise known as the rhinophores that can detect its prey and mate.

Squid eggs! It look like 'mitaimak'(white noodle) to me.

Spider conch (top view)

Bottom view

Shy cute creature with its eyes sticking out(: The conches have big eyes on long stalks that can peep out of the shell. However these snails are listed among the threatened animals of Singapore due to habitat loss and overcollection.

Often mistaken as worm, this is actually a synaptid sea cucumber. This sea cucumber is quite long! Up till 1m I think? It crawls very slowly using microscopic 'hooks' on their skins while they mop up the abundant organic debris.

Soon it was sunset. beeyoutifull~! now makes me feel like going semakau again in the early morning where I can see the sunrise(:

& soon the moon is out as well.

hmm don't feel like Singapore right? Anyway this is when the night creatures are coming out(:


This creature actually camouflages. I was amazed by their ability to camouflage. Check out this footage (forgot where I taken from though). The octopus is the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Octopuses are renowned for their ability to squeeze through the tiniest crevices. Their saliva is poisonous to their prey.

Snapping shrimp! (or pistol prawn)

So this is the culprit that has been making those incessant 'pop' earlier. These snapping sounds were made A high-speed jet of water is released by the rapid compression on its 'finger' on its pincers. This vapourises the water and create the bubble. When the bubble collapses, it POPs! This stuns prey like tiny fish and cracks the shells of small clams. It is also used to ward off predators and intimidate rival pistol prawns.

Knobbly seastar (top view)

They fertilise externally and is reported to spawn in large numbers. This creates a concentrated mass of eggs and sperm in nearby water, thus increasing the chance of fertilization.

bottom view

Its tubefeet are found below. The seastar move and eat using its tubefeet. The knobbly seastar prefer to eat snails and clams, but will also feed on corals, sponges, algae as well as dead animals.

finding 'treasures' in action(: