May 18, 2007

BIG corals on Sentosa's natural shores

Just how BIG are those corals next to Sentosa's cable car tower?

I get this question a lot because the first time I visited this shore, I was alone. There wasn't another human being to frame into the photo for scale.
Fortunately, during this visit, long lost Kami Kaze YuChen rejoined the crew. In excitement over the fabulously large Euphyllia corals, he ignored soft mud, risked his cranky camera (it took a dip in the sea during a visit two days ago) to squish close enough to take photos of them. Now you can clearly see just how enormous these lovely corals are!

Just beneath the cable car tower, in little bay, are MORE gianormous corals.

And all kinds of corals too.

Corals are actually made up of tiny animals living together in a colony. Each animal, called a polyp, looks like a tiny sea anemone. Each polyp builds a little skeleton to live in. It is the hard skeletons of countless polyps that result in the hard coral that we see.

Some corals grow very slowly, about 1cm a year. For such corals, a 1-metre specimen may be older than many of us!

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