May 24, 2008

Sentosa stroll

At daybreak, I joined the Naked Hermit Crabs and friends of the Crabs on a slow stroll of Sentosa.We checked out the shore near the cable car tower where reclamation is on going. Alas, the nemo is still not sighted in the anemone there.

But the soft shores there were still alive. We saw the carpet anemones with their anemone shrimps. And under a stone, there was this crab (Leptodius sp.).It has spoon-shaped tips on its pincers. These are probably used to scrape off algae or other edible stuff.The crab is a member of the Family Xanthidae which includes some of the most poisonous crabs on our shores. These crabs should not be eaten.

Besides the usual branching corals other marine life in the pools there, James found a dead sting ray. Ivan took the opportunity to explain the underside of this intriguing fish. Something that we can't do with a living fish.And Bian found an egg-case, possibly of a shark. It was light and empty. Hopefully the baby hatched safely.We then moved on along the rocky shore beneath the towering natural cliffs cloaked in plants. We saw a few people fishing on this shore. Leykun and Ivan shared about the snails found there.Bian, the botanical expert, was with us and shared about the plants. There was a huge natural Angsana there, planted by nature and not an "instant tree" like our roadside trees. We also spotted a Tailorbird!

We soon approached the more forbidding portion at the Tanjung Rimau point.Here there are rock pools filled with little fishes, small corals and other marine life. Unfortunately, there was some signs of coral bleaching here.

The Tanjung Rimau beacon was still being repaired.It's a big job.With quite a bit of a mess around it.By the time we rounded the bend, the tide was incoming. We had some glimpses of hard and soft corals and lots of small corals growing on the encrusted coral rubble shore. The seagrasses were doing well too.

James spots a ball of Lined eel-tail catfishes. And finds a tiny flatworm!Bian points out the figging fig tree.But we're not really sure what kind of fig it is.Bian says these figs are figging everywhere. And Ivan and I suddenly recalled seeing these small orange fruits on Changi earlier this week as well.

Since Bian is with us, we ask about the Tongkat ali and whether those bright red fruits belong to the plant.And he confirmed that indeed, those are the fruits of the Tongkat ali.

Bian also tells us more about the Sea teak (Podocarpus polystachyus). Apparently the red portion is not really the fruit but just an attractive bit to encourage animals to disperse the seed. The seed is the green bit on top of the red fleshy part. Wow!

We learn so much everytime we visit our shores.

No comments: