Thursday, November 6, 2008

Semakau Inter-Tidal Walk on 1 Nov 2008

Seventy Eighth Discovery Posting:

This is an overdue and late posting for the Semakau Inter-Tidal Walk with HSBC volunteers over the last Saturday. It's late as I was busy planning and typing projects and reports, well, better late than never... haha

Oh ya, regular discoverers might have noticed the change of template for my blog. A more simple theme was my target this time, and so I present to all 'discoverers' this new template (which I grabbed from online somewhere)...

Anyway, down to this posting...

As mentioned above, it was a day out with HSBC volunteers, but I wasn't really guiding. Why? This was supposed to be a practice session for HSBC volunteers to test their own guiding skills and knowledge of inter-tidal organisms.

So here's a pre-walk group photo (picture below) outside the NEA building.
After walking through the forest, the 'show' begun. Here's one 'arrowed' lead guide doing her job (picture below). What was she showing us? First 'Discovery'! A fiddler crab, if i'm not wrong, this is orange fiddler crab (picture below).Discovery Note:
1. Fiddler crabs are characterised by their one oversized pincer.
2. Do take note that only the males have this oversized pincer.
3. The purpose of it is to attract mates and sometimes used to 'fight' for terriotry.
4. However, the oversized pincer is useless for feeding, they use their normal-sized (small) pincers to feed.
5. Female fiddler crabs have TWO pincers (small-ones), thus they can feed faster than males.
6. Find out more about the orange fiddler crabs on the wild facts site:

We were quite lucky to be able to view the sunset during this evening walk (picture below).
Of course, any guided walk would include group photos with beautiful scenery (picture below). Oh ya, I forgot to mention that we were nemos (clownfish) for the day. Our second 'discovery' was a sandfish or also called garlic bread sea cucumber (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. The popular Chinese name for sea cucumber is haishen, which means, roughly, ginseng of the sea.
2. This particular sea cucumber is one of the species which is collected as a Chinese delicacy.
3. Tests have shown they contain toxis, thus they MUST be properly processed before they can be eaten.
4. Find out more about this sea cucumber on

Can't resist snapping away at the sunset (picture below)...

Here's another 'arrowed' guide doing her 'work'. By the way, she was talking about the mating behaviour of common sea stars. Oh yes, this is ... third 'discovery' (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. Common sea stars have an interesting mating behaviour
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.
6. Find out more about the common sea star at

Look at (picture below)Fourth 'discovery' is a persian carpet flatworm (picture below). My first decent photo of it. =)Discovery Note:
1. Flatworms are hermaphrodite, which mean they have both the male and female sex organs.
2. One interesting thing about some species of flatworms is that when two individuals come together to mate, they will engage in a fight, trying to pierce the skin of the other with their penises (bear in mind that they are hermaphrodites). The first to succeed 'poking' the other inseminates the other, which must then carry and nourish the eggs. We usually call the fight process, penis fencing.
3. Anyway, find out more about this flatworm on

Now what are they looking at this station (picture below)?

Oh, a bohol nudibranch (picture below). Fifth 'discovery'.

Discovery Note:

1. 'Nudibranch' means 'naked gills'. The name comes from the flower-like gills found on the back of many nudibranchs. These nudibranchs use the gills to breathe.
Nudibranchs are related to snails. Little baby nudibranchs are born with shells, but they lose them when they become adults.
Most nudibranchs are carnivores, they eat immobile or small, slow-moving prey. Examples are sponges, ascidians, hard corals, soft corals, sea anemones etc.

To protect themselves, some produce distasteful substances, toxins and even acids. They advertise this with bright warning colours. Others are camouflaged to match their surroundings. Those that eat colourful creatures such as sponges or corals, may themselves be colourful to match their prey. Being small and flat, they can also easily hide in narrow places.

4. Find out more about this nudibranch at

Lastly, the sixth 'discovery', a hairy crab (picture below)!

Discovery Note:
1. The hairs of the hairy crab traps sediment so it blends 'almost' perfectly with its surroundings.

2. We also call this crab the ‘teddy bear crab’. =)
3. The hairy crab eats seaweeds and poisonous zoanthids, which makes the crab mildly poisonous too!

4. Do bear in mind that these are not the same 'hairy crabs' served in restaurants.

5. Find out more about hairy crabs at

Thanks to all nemos for making this trip another enjoyable one and I do apologize for that late posting. =D

No comments: