Monday, October 20, 2008

Semakau Inter-Tidal Walk on 18 Oct 2008

Seventy Sixth Discovery Posting

It was an evening out with a group of 'turtles' from the HSBC volunteer group. Here's a group photo of all of us before the walk (photo below).
Although it looked clear and blue at the point of time when we took this photo, it was actually raining quite heavily as we headed off from Marina South Pier. However, the rain stopped as we started our walk, thus, I must say we were quite lucky. =)

Anyway, our first 'discovery' is this pair of moon crabs (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. If you look closer, you will find that all the walking legs of the moon crab is of a paddle-shape.
2. This enables the moon crab to swim, and more interestingly, use its legs as 'spades' to quickly bury itself in soft sediments.
3. As they are often buried in the sediments, one don't see them very often.
4. Read more about them @

Close by, we saw a really cute juvenile squid (picture below). Second 'discovery'!
Discovery Note:
1. Squids are Cephalopods like octopuses and cuttlefishes.
2. This means that they are able to change their colours on their surfaces in an instant for camouflage purposes.
3. Do you know that squids are amongst the fastest aquatic invertebrates? Some of them can reach speeds of up to 40km per hour!
4. Stay Tuned for more facts on the squid on my next blog posting =P

The third 'discovery' was a find by one sharp-eyed 'turtle'. And this was something I never saw before. After some asking around, I managed to find out that this is a kind of headshield slug (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. According to observation and some help, the ID of this headshield slug might be Philinopsis pilsbryi.

The fourth 'discovery' is the stars of the seas (common sea stars). Here they are in an interesting position (picture below). Read on to find out more...
Discovery Note:
1. This is actually a mating behaviour of the common sea stars.
2. The sea star on top, a male, lies on top of the female, his arm alternating with hers as seen in the picture.
3. Their reproductive organs do not actually meet as they have interior reproduction organs.
4. What happens is that they will release sperms and eggs almost at the same time.
5. This behaviour they have is believed to increase the chances of external fertilization.

It was another great day out, as the 'turtles' were an attentive group. Thanks, everyone! =)

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