Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Semakau Inter-Tidal walk on 6 July 2008

Sixty Eighth Discovery Posting:

This posting is a second part of the weekend trip to Semakau for inter-tidal walks.

On Sunday (6 July), I guided a group of mudskippers, couldn't ask them to skip for the group shot at the seagrass lagoon as I didn't want to create too much damage to the habitat =P (picture below).
Now, our first 'discovery' is a gigantic carpet anemone, which isn't really gigantic, gigantic is just its part of its species name if I'm not wrong (picture below).
Discovery Note:
For self defence and preying purposes, they have stinging cells in their tentacles which will release or 'shoot' small 'needles' when upon contact. So I won't really advise you to touch them although our skin might be 'thicker' than most marine creatures. This is to prevent you from getting stung.
They lack an anus, so they split out any indigestible food through its mouth.

Although there weren't as much nudibranches as we saw compared to Sat (5 July), we did see a couple of flatworms, here's one of them (picture below). Discovery Note:
Flatworms are hermaphrodites, which means a flatworm has both the male and female sex organs.
And some species of flatworms engage in penis fencing, in which two individuals fight, trying to pierce the skin of the other with their penises; the first to succeed inseminates the other, which must then carry and nourish the eggs.

Our hunter seekers also found a sea horse (picture below). Third 'discovery'! Discovery Note:
1. They are hard to find as they are well-camouflaged.
2. Do you know that a seahorse is actually a fish? Yes, it is, but instead of having scales, they have an inflexible armour of overlapping bony plates.
3. A seahorse cannot swim faster because it doesn't have tail fin and pelvic fins like other fishes, thus it is well-camouflaged. But they can make a short burst of speed if in danger.
4. They may look harmless, but they are actually quite voracious predators. It sits in wait and ambushes on any tiny animals that drifts or wander by.
5. They have a very simple digestive system (no stomach) thus they need to eat almost constantly. Baby sea horses are known to eat thousands of tiny shrimps in a day!
6. And of course, the most well-known fact of the sea horse is that the male can get 'pregnant', this is because the female seahorses lay eggs in the pouch of a male seahorse and it is in their where the eggs will be fertilized and then the male seahorse will carry them till the eggs hatch.
7. Want to read more about the sea horse, click here to read it from the online Chek Jawa guidebook.

Our hunter seekers (RY and SY) also found the 'star' of the walk, thus here's a group photo with it. No skipping as we didn't want to leave any more damage to the shore (picture below). =P
Fourth 'discovery' has got to be a find, as this is my first time seeing this crab, possibly a smooth spooner (picture below).Discovery Note:
1. This crab which we saw was a huge one, as it was about 25cm (across).
2. The tip of the pincers of this crab is spoon shaped, thus it's name is as such.
3. The structure of it allows this crab to scape algae off the rocks to eat.

So that's it for the weekend trip over at Semakau. Thanks to all mudskippers for coming and everyone else who came! =)

a) Read tidechaser's entry on this weekend's trip to Semakau.
b) Check out Urban Forest too for an account on the same trips.

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