Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Discovery @ Chek Jawa on 22 Jan 2008

Forty fifth Discovery Posting:

Woke up this morning just in time to catch the sunrise from my room's window (picture below)
Anyway, today was the second time that I was helping KS with his Chek Jawa project, at Chek Jawa of course.

Side Note:
You may read more about this project @ http://cjproject.blogspot.com/

And also today was a special day for KS, as he was to be interviewed for a Channel 8 programme on people working on the environment . So the camera was recording his activities almost all the time when it's on.

And due to that, he and some of the gang had to alight a bit earlier to walk to the entrance of CJ. Ron and myself managed to escape that fate by playing our age card. However, we aren't that old, mind you. It was just that we were plain lazy today. =P

Anyway, because of this, Ron and I were first to arrive at the entrance and got to see the first 'discovery', the flying dragon (picture below). Can you spot it?
Discovery Note:
1. The Flying Dragon, is a "flying" lizard that lives in the rainforests and rubber plantations of Asia and the East Indies.

2. It can spread out folds of skin attached to its movable ribs to form "wings" that it uses to glide from tree to tree over distances upwards of 8 meters (25 feet).

3. Its "wings" are brightly coloured with orange, red and blue spots and stripes, and they provide camouflage when folded.

4. They are known to feed on arboreal ants and termites.

After everyone arrived with a "grand" entrance, all of us walked to House No.1 for our briefing for our tasks today. And while waiting, here's second and third 'discovery' from the rescue tank at House No.1 (picture below). The fish at the foreground is a copper-banded butterfly fish, while the two at the background are kite butterfly fishes.
Discovery Note:
1. They have a large ‘false eye’ on its dorsal fin which fools predators into thinking that it is a big fish.
2. And if a predator does attacks it, the fish unexpectedly swim ‘backwards’.
3. Copper-banded butterfly fishes have a long snout with brush-like teeth to suck up coral polyps and small prey from crevices.

After the briefing, we headed out to the inter-tidal area and the first animal we encountered there was a elbow crab (picture below). This is fourth 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1. Their common name comes from their interestingly structured pincers which seems to have elbows.
2. It ambushes prey passing within striking distances of its extra long pincers.

I read from Sijie's blog that the hairy sea hare seems to be "in season" at CJ, so i though i would have the chance to see at least one today. But was i in for a surprise, cause i didn't just see one, i saw LOTS of them!

However, here's one of them (picture below) and fifth 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1. Sea hares probably got their name because they move rather quick for a slug and their tentacles do look a bit like the ears of a hare with some imagination.
2. The hairy sea hare is known to eat the thin film cyano-bacteria (a kind of micro-organism)

As today's tasks are mainly about monitoring of different organisms, we got a different one each. Alicia, Ron and I got to check out peacock anemones. However, it was only after the whole monitoring session and a reminder from KS (as i am typing this) that I realised that we didn't take any photos for peacock anemones. Duh!

Anyway, we were also asked to keep an eye out for common sea stars as they were wiped out after the mass flood back in Jan 2007 and seem to be sighted only recently in small numbers.

Read more about the flood @ http://iyor08singapore.blogspot.com/2008/01/chek-jawa-death-and-life-in-2007.html

Well, why do i mention this? Of course it was because we saw them, the common sea stars . Adelle found the first one as she was hunter seeking for the Chek Jawa guided walk, and soon we found 9 more of them (pictures below)!

A sign of recovery and sixth 'discovery'!
2 more common sea stars were found after this photo was taken (picture below)Discovery Note:
1. Although people commonly call them star fish, we prefer to call them sea stars. As they are not fishes.
2. If you look on the underside of the sea star, you will find the tube feet of the sea star.
3. These tube feet are used for walking, handle food as well as breathing, talk about multi purpose!
4. Sea stars get stressed when out of water, so please don’t take them out of the water for too long.
5. And although they are called the common sea stars, they are no longer common due to over collection and habitat lost and let's hope with the sight of these 10 sea stars, more will appear soon on the shores of CJ.

Here's something i've seen for the first time. A peanut worm (picture below), seventh 'discovery'!Discovery Note:
1. They were once very abundant in Singapore that they were collected and fed to ducks.

2. They are usually buried, but are sometimes seen on soft ground.

3. The ridged skin makes it look like a shelled peanut when it is contracted thus the name of peanut worm.

Eighth 'discovery' of the day was found after we've completed our task of the day, this should be a cake sea star (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. Distinguishing features for this species are the large bivalved pedicellariae (pincer-like structures) on the oral surface (under side where you find its mouth), with smaller versions found on the marginal plates and tiny scattered pedicellariae on the upper or aboral surface.
2. The upper surface of the disc is convex while the oral side is flat.
3. The arms are triangular, slightly upturned at the tips and boarded by prominent marginal plates.

Very soon, the tide was coming in and the whole gang had to leave the area unless anyone wanted to be washed away by the waves (picture below). Reaching back the jetty at Ubin, a scene of great serenity greeted us (picture below) before we departed Ubin. Thanks to everyone for making this trip another fun one and it didn't rain. =)

Read wildfilms to check out some other organisms that was spotted by clicking here.


juanicths said...

woh~~~ glad to see that the common seastars are coming back. Definitely a good increase from the 3 that we saw during the Christmas low-tide last year.

Lucky that you managed to catch nice photos of both the sunrise and the sunset on the same day!

DreamerJuly said...


The Common Sea Stars seems to be coming back which is GREAT!

Oh, anyway, the last photo was a photo of the moon. =P