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(: