#07, Semakau Training

It just gets better & better! This time we got to go on a trip to the Semakau Island at night (: There's always a first for everything and that was my first time at the Intertidal area. Basically Semakau's an island used for the purposes of a landfill, where incinerated waste are dumped at. Despite being a landfill, the place still supports rather amazing marine life! :)

I'm really sorry for the mass spam in photographs and the lousy quality but oh well, Im noooobz at taking nice photographs.


Right, so our trip began with a boat ride from the jetty at Marina, where we took a boat ride to Semakau. It was already almost 5-6p.m. then. We had to go bash through this really mosquito-infested forest (it was literally nightmare). Finally reaching the sandbar...

Bakau, a type of Rhizophora

This is the Sea Apple, which has pnumatophores, "breathing roots". I remember blogging about this one before. To add, mangroves are very important to the ecosystem as they support a wide diversity of animals.

Sea Cucumber
A sea cucumber. A large one at that. It squirts out water!! (will add more detail at a later date)

Camouflaged Octopus
Can you spot it? Haha, hope you can! Anyway octopuses are considered one of the smartests molluscs around; well they can change the colour of their 'skin' according to the surroundings. I guess this octopus' pretty small alr, considering I watched a documentary once before when the silly shark got eaten by a octopus!

They're in colonies. Lots of them! Yum?

These animals are abundant around the sand bar. These animals are filter feeders- they take in water from the ambient sea water and filter small food substances. Also, they can reproduce either sexually or asexually (budding).

Red Swimming Crab
Well I think this crab moves really really fast.

Synaptid Sea Cucumber
Loooooong one, hiding among the seagrass (sidetrack: The sea grass lagoon is really cool cos it's completely swamped with seagrass/ seaweeds like the mermaid's fan Padina sp., red algae Soliera rubusta and more! These are important sources of detrius)

A Hard Coral
It's made up of a colony of polyps, with calcium carbonate to help it keep upright. So it's really important that the sea does not become acidic. Remember what we learn in Chem lesson? Haha Carbonate + acid --> CO2 + Salt + Water, which means that the calcium carbonate would simply corrode, leaving the coral dead. ): That's really sad.

Volute, Laying eggs
This is a volute! They're fearsome hunters. (will add more details soon)

Pronounced as noo-di-brank (: They have open gills and antannae! It's a shell-less snail, i.e. a slug. Lol. (add more details soon)

Carpet Anemone
They're actually animals, not plants! Haha they belong to a family called Cniadarians and have nematocysts (stinging cells) which they can use to inject toxins into its prey. Apparently, these animals can move if they want to by unattaching itself. The mouth's in the centre of the anemone. These reproduce sexually.

Common Sea Star
These sea stars are amazing creatures. Cut off one part & it grows back!

Black-lipped Conch
This is no slow-moving mollusc, for it uses its claw-like (& sharp!) operculum to push itself forward, whether it is out of danger (predators), for eating purposes (eats algae/detrius), or to turn itself upright if it is overturned.

Male Fiddler Crab
This one feeds at low tide and hides in its burrow during high-tide where it breathes through its air bubble. Unlike insects, crabs grow all their lives and constantly moult as they increase in size - they have an exoskeleton which protects them. The male, as shown in this picture, has one claw larger than another; to attract males and intimidate other males (this is what you call IMBA).

Similar looking to the nudibranch, this is the flatworm. They belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes because theyre unsegmented worms. They can both be colourful and dull (as in this case). They secrete muscus on the underside and crawl with this, with the aid of cillia. These are carnivores/ scavangers.

Frogfish has a very good camouflage cos it's brownish. It was almost difficult to spot it, but two of the guides who had sharp eyes managed to spot it (SPOT ON!) It's pretty amazing.. a skill that needs to be honed!

Soft Corals
Very large! (add more details soon)

We also got to see the pufferfish and the toad fish, of which I didnt get pictures of but nevermind! (:

P.S. Thanks to Ron & Ms Wang who gave invaluable comments for this blogpost!

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