#41, A "Bao Ka Liao" Semakau Post

Heehee, I haven't posted in a long long time, cus I was a little busy. Pardon the title. I thought it was appropriate cos it was going to encompass three trips worth of words and photographs which have already accumulated and nearly collected dust! Whee.

Anyway, thank you Ms Wang, Ron & Siyang for planning/organizing/preparing these trips! :)

Soooo the three trips were:-

1. Project Semakau Launch (website @ http://projectsemakau.rafflesmuseum.net)
- Saw a newly-recorded seastar (YAY!), polka-dot nudibranch, orange-dotted nudibranch, 3 noble volutes (baby, adult and another laying eggs), worm (not sure what...), gong gong (Strombus canarium), spider crab, reef bristle worm, sea spider and more.

2. Transect trial @ Semakau
- Oops, didnt really see many creatures as we were doin' the seagrass but I think we saw a spider conch.

3. Hunter-seeking at Semakau
- Saw many interesting intertidal creatures, see my 2 posts back!


On the day of the launch, it was raining... hee, but soon the rain cleared for the intertidal walk! :)

Dr Amy Khor came as the guest-of-honour!

Yep, so it was the day of the launch.

The barnacles on the tree of the mangroves. These barnacles filter feed off the current, as it sweeps by. Also, they are hermaphrodite- they have both female and male organs. They can be considered parasites if they live in animals.

The carpet anemone was very big! Haha, but we didn't manage to find any host clownfish ):

This is the mangrove roots of the Sonneratia mangroves, which have these kinda cone-shaped roots. They also have characteristic "apple-like" fruits and round leaves.

The Knobbly Seastar (Protoreaster nodosus) Heh, that day they found quite a few Knobblies! Semakau is indeed teeming with life. These creatures are carnivorous, eating other smaller critters such as clams.

The very famous gong-gong (Strombus canarium)! Haha, this one had its arm just sticking out. Not a very good photograph ay? Anyw, these are edible ;)

Cowrie shell....... but it's dead. R.I.P. ): Haven't really seen cowries alive when I go to Semakau, always seem to see the shells only.

Carpet anemone again!

This mudskipper was found around the mangroves area.

Nipah palm is the only palm tree that is found in the mangroves. It's seed the one that gives you the attap chee!

Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) seems to be in season, because it was seen quite a number of times! Can't imagine how many eggs are in that lump- thousands of them but most of them don't make it to adulthood.

Here's a "baby" (small-sized) noble volute. So cute. :3

This noble volute is surprisingly not covered in sediments! It's body is so beautiful :) Don't you think so? The noble volute is considered a snail, belonging to the phylum of Mollusc and class of Gastropoda.

Pink!Sponge! :D Nice colour. These sponges have small holes and hence the phylum, "Poifera" - which is indicative of it's small pores. They too, filter feed as current brings in the sea water through the pores, while trapping little plankton and other microsopic food particles.

Gymnodoris sp. Don't touch me! I'm poisonous! This is really true. The nudibranch's attractive colouration is indicative of it's poisonous nature.

The reef bristle worm has hair-like extensions from it's body- they're called setae. They reproduce by epitokes, a portion developed to store sperm/ eggs, which later breaks off to take part in external fertilization.

Red swimming crab

JW's guess was that this was a polychaete worm cus it looked segmented. I'm not sure myself.

Polka-dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris), also known as JOFU! Haha that rhymes with tofu :P Two were found together, haha. They looked as if they were going to fertilize each other but that is just my assumption.

Sea star!

Sea spider- they are considered rather rare, listed as "endangered". Ah, and they're fierce hunters- they can even eat smaller-sized shrimps!

Flowering sea grass! How exciting!! This sea grass belongs to the Enhalus genus.

The male of the plant is the white styrofoam-like "balls".

More male flowers. The female portion is the one that much bigger, and has its stigma protruding outwards.

Stonefish, hardly recorded at Semakau! It has poisonous spines and stays absolutely still! Wow, no surprise that it's so dangerous both because it's so still and poisonous. Anyhows, this one is rather bloated.

Spotted black flatworm

Wonder what this is...

Spider crab! It's so small...hardly 4 cm! These crabs are usually very well camouflaged such that it's hard to spot. A keen eye is required! Haha. I think Ms Wang spotted it.

My Photo of the Day

Dead man's Fingers! They are a type of soft coral.

Finally the end! :) The trips were truly enjoyable. Made new friends :)

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