Saturday, July 5, 2008

Discovery @ Changi Beach on 4 July 2008

Sixty Sixth Discovery Posting

I believe most of us will be sleeping around the time of 3am in the morning.

But on Thursday, a few of us were at the beaches of Changi helping KS for his Sand Star (a type of sea star) project. So of course, the first 'discovery' would be his study subjects, Astropecten indicus, and if I'm not wrong, he's studying the diet of them (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. Sand Stars are one of the few species of sea stars which I know of that which ingest their prey whole compared to other sea stars which extrude their stomach out through the mouth to digest their prey extra-orally, which means out of their mouth.

Around the beach area, I also found a number peacock anemones, second 'discovery' (pictures below)

Discovery Note:
1. They are not true anemones to start off with, but they do also have stinging cells like anemones and have an appearance which is similar, probably that's why they are called anemones too.

And third 'discovery' should be an anemone too, but one I have no idea of its ID...hmm... (picture below)As I walked around to help KS for his project, I also came across this octopus which was kinda of stranded in a hole (picture below). Fourth 'discovery'!
Since it can't move about, this was a great chance for an upclose shot of an octopus. It doesn't look too friendly, does it? =P (picture below)Discovery Note:
1. Octopuses are characterized by their eight arms (not tentacles), usually bearing suction cups.
2. They have a relative short life span, and some specials live for as little as six months.
3. They have three hearts! Two pump blood through each of their two gills, while the third pumps blood through the body.
4. They are also highly intelligent, probably more intelligent than any other order of invertebrates (any animal without a spinal column).
5. They are also able to change their body colour to camouflage themselves.

As KS had quite a few helpers on that morning, we managed to find the work quickly which gave us some time to explore other parts of the shore too. And wow, it was a star-studded night.

Okay okay, I'm just lazy to type discovery notes on how to ID the different sea stars, hahaha.
But if you're interested to know, you can purchase the "A Guide to Sea Stars and other Echinoderms of Singapore", a BP sponsored guidebook at around SGD$6+ in our major bookstores. Anyway,
enjoy the photos. =)

"Hug ME!" (picture below)
"Just relaxing around" (picture below)"Hello!" (picture below)"I lost an arm..." (picture below)A sea star which I don't see often, the Gymnanthenea laevis. (picture below)This was also the first time, I see a rock star, the one that roams the shores...hahaha (picture below)And also a scaly sea star (Nepanthia belcheri) Woo Hoo!And two really huge biscuits sea stars! Look at their size compared to a 30cm ruler placed near them (picture below).An enjoyable trip despite needing to wake up at an unearthly hour. =P Thanks to KS for letting me stay over his place before the trip and all others who came!

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