Saturday, December 29, 2007

Discovery @ Changi Beach on 27 Dec 2007

Forty second Discovery posting:

Do you go about walking around our shores and sometimes wonder what these are (picture below)?
A closer look... and who made these little balls of sand? (picture below)
Here is our answer, the sand bubbler crab (picture below). First 'discovery' of the day.
Discovery Note:
1. They eat the thin coating of detritus on the sand grains.
2. These processed sand grains will then be discarded to form the tiny ball of sands which you see.

On Thursday, i was at Changi Beach being a hunter seeker. As Ron was more or less busy with the filming session, heard it's for a local documentary which is the next season of "Once upon a Tree" (not sure if i got this correct or not)...haha, i was asked to help to look for interesting things for the filming.

Anyway, since i didn't had to guide and was quite free as long i find things (which i did), i took the chance to photograph of how a moon snail burrowed into the sand (pictures below). Oh ya, second 'discovery'
Burrowing in progress (picture below)
Almost there... (picture below)Discovery Note:
1. The moon snail can inflate its body with seawater as it emerges from its shell and the fully expanded body is larger than the shell (refer to pictures above)
2. Moon snails plough through the sand, hunting for buried snails and clams.
3. The moon snail can warp its large body around its prey to suffocate it or even secrete an acid to soften its victim's shell and create a hole with its radula.

Here's a photo of the filming in action (picture below). And the clouds which reflected the rays of light from the evening sun in contrast with the blue sky(picture below). Walking around, i found this (picture below) amongst some seaweeds and seagrasses. And when Ron saw this, he was telling me that this is a rare find, a live heart urchin. Wow! Third 'discovery'!Discovery Note:
1. It burrows in sand but can be found near the surface sometimes during low tides.
2. This is also known as the sea potato due to its shape.

Fourth 'discovery' could be a juvenile cake sea star which Ron found (picture below).Discovery Note:
1. Look at the size of this small thing, only about 2cm plus.

It was truly a starry night for us. Why? Look (picture below) Let me count, fifth, sixth and seventh 'discovery'...hahaDiscovery Note:
1. Look at their sizes compared to the orange cake sea star.
2. I wonder is that their biggest size or they will grow larger... well, that would depend on their species and that they live to grow big (hopefully they do).

Eighth 'discovery' is something i saw for the first time! A Luidia penangensis, the 6 armed sand star (picture below). Underside (picture below)Discovery Note:
1.They are called the 6 armed sand star because like the sand star, they have the ability to ingest their prey whole.

What a great night! Thanks to Ron for asking me to help him or else i couldn't have the chance to see all these things.

Read Ron's entry on the same trip with some other things we saw at here.

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