Dec 26, 2007

Sweet Young Things on Changi

A few of us were back on the shores for the last super low tide of the year. A nice slow leisurely look at Changi. And wow, there were so many cute little things out on the shore!

Near sunset, as on Chek Jawa, all the little stars came out. We're talking of course, about sand stars (Astropecten sp.).Those on Changi were really small! And they were all well spaced out. They looked like they were eating the seaweeds or something on the seaweeds.

There was also a very tiny Biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scabra) hardly bigger than a seagrass leaf.
And really small Pencil sea urchins (Prionocidaris sp.).Miniscule Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis).
Small swimming sea anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi)
A teeny weeny scallop (Family Pectinidae) with its pretty shell patterns still unhidden.Bigger scallops on Changi tend to have shells covered with encrusting animals.
Even the Button snails (Umbonium vestiarum) were tinier than those found on Chek Jawa.
Chay Hoon also found this small little Sea moth or Sea robin (Pegasus volitans).There were also small humans on the shore!A bunch of kids were out on a shore trip. How wonderful to see efforts to introduce our living shores to our children!

On the high shore, a grandpa and grandma were sharing more about the sea creatures with their grandchildren.Grandpa was using a castnet to catch all kinds of fishes, which grandma showed off in a pool of water. A few of us took the opportunity to take some photos of these fishes. (Grandma said she would release the fishes after they had a look at them).

Among the special finds was this small Blue-spotted stingray (Dasyatis kuhli)This sting ray is identified by the black-and-white bands on the tail, a rounded snout and a dark band across the eyes. The similar looking Mangrove whipray (Himantura walga) has a more pointed snout and lacks the bands on the tail and across the eyes.

How wonderful to see a thriving shore with lots of developing young animals!

While Chek Jawa is better known and appreciated, shores nearby like Changi and Pulau Sekudu are also important. Should anything happen to Chek Jawa, such as the mass deaths following the flooding earlier this year, young animals from shores like Changi and Pulau Sekudu will resettle on Chek Jawa. We should appreciate and protect all our natural shores for they are all interconnected.

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