We began the journey when the sun was still not up! It was darkkkkk. Ah okay, here were a few animals we actually spotted...
Arabian Cowrie Cypraea arabica
The Arabian Cowrie has a very nice pattern. It's relatively large in size as compared to it's cousins, the Cypraea moneta, which was previously used by Africans as a means of coins/dollar notes! Haha but this doesn't warrant you to pick these pretty little shells up for keeps. Speaking of motherly instincts, mother cowrie actually stays with her eggs till they hatch.
Brown egg crab * Thanks July for the ID!
Heh another photograph of this can be found on http://flickr.com/photos/wildsingapore/513504511/. It's one of the threatened animals in Singapore.
All squished up):
Intertidal creatures have to be very very versatile; given their harsh environment: the varying salinity due to the tides receeding, UV rays from the sun...
On this particular carpet anemone, Samson found anemone shrimps (Periclimines sp)... though didn't manage to get a photograph of them ): Ah well, these shrimps share a symbiotic relationship with the anemone where one benefits (shrimp) and the other is not significantly harmed (anemone). This relationship is known as commensalism. Anemones actually have stinging cells called nematocysts but- these anemone shrimps do not get stung still. Why so? It's because these anemone shrimp have a layer of mucus which protects them from the stinging cells.
I don't know why but I like anemones. Haha they have nice lips. :)
This conch here is really pretty! It has a unique shape, unlike the rest. It is interesting to note that conches actually leap with a retractor muscle. The spider conch feeds usually on algae but also prey on other animals such as bivalves. On this trip we actually saw THREE of them! These conches are not things we see everyday ya'know!
It was pointed out by Robert:) Actually, for octopuses, mating is really once-in-a-lifetime. By the time the octopus reaches sexual maturity, it naturally finds a mate and after which, the male stretches out a modified arm, called the hectocotylus, towards the female. This specialized arm contains the sperms. Then it is inserted into the female's reproductive organ and stored in the mantle cavity, for external fertilization when the female lays her eggs. The male dies after a few months after this while the female soon also dies after her eggs are hatched.
& so there was the sunrise soon after :) Very beautiful! Seeeeeeeee... Singapore does have a rich biodiversity, don't be fooled.
These feather stars are very colourful and have manymany arms (called pinnules). They are coated with special sticky substances to help it catch food. The mouth of this sea star is found on the upper side; and it filter feeds.
Limpets are actually those small umbrella-like shells found on the rocks of the intertidal area. To prevent itself from being swept away by waves, these lil limpets actually have a broad foot which grabs tightly on the rock. Also, these limpets can move about, unlike their stationary look-alikes, the barnacles. Being able to move about, these limpets have a 'homing device' as they secrete a trail of mucus to help it find its way back to its 'home'.
Black Sea Cucumber
This black sea cucumber is among one of the most common ones you can find in the intertidal area. Sea cucumbers get pretty stressed easily actually and are poisonous. When stressed, these cucumbers tense and stifen up. Other times, these cucumbers are actually soft to touch. They actually require water in order to breathe, because of the way their breathing system works; they pump water through their body into tubes called 'respiratory trees'. When frightened, it is possible that the sea cucumber expel it's internal organs (respiratory trees, digestive system and even reproductive organs). They can regenerate these organs but still, do not agitate these animals!
Anemone (nicknamed "Pizza")