Sunday, April 12, 2009

Semakau Inter Tidal Walk @ 12 April 2009

Ninety First Discovery Posting:

Personally, this morning was quite a talkative morning as I leaded a group of Sec 2 students from Tampines Secondary. It was talkative because the group I was leading was talking amongst themselves almost on and on when I wasn't talking...hahaha.

Anyway, I'll feature some of the things we saw in today's walk. First 'discovery' are a group of sea stars found in a 'weird' position (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. This unique positioning pattern is actually a part of the common sea stars' mating ritual.
2. The male, which is usually smaller in size, will be found on top of the female with its arms alternating with hers.
3. The common sea stars do not external reproduction organs. Therefore this behaviour is to increase the chance of exterior fertilisation.
4. Read more about this and the common sea star @

Here are two photos of the very talkative upside downs with their feet submerged in water (group name for the day, actually it's a short form for upside down jellyfish) (pictures below).
probably 25% Wacky Version (picture below).We were quite lucky this morning that our hunter seekers managed to spot a sea urchin. This is because it has been a while since once was spotted during a public walk, for me that is. Anyway, this is the second 'discovery' (picture below).Discover Note:
1. Sea Urchins are usually covered with lots of spiny spines.
2. These spines are used for moving around and at the same time for protection against most predators.
3. These spines can cause pain if contacted upon, so do not handle them with your bare hands.
4. The orange dot you see in the picture above is actually the anus of the urchin.
5. The mouth is located on the underside of the urchin.
6. To find out more about sea urchins, read on @

Next up on this post are nudibranchs, third 'discovery' (picture below).
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.

4. 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.

5. Read more about nudibranchs @

And after some hard work from our hunter seekers, people who set off first to look for marine creatures for us, they managed to find 3 knobbly sea stars, here's one of them (picture below).

Discovery Note:
1. They get their name from the knobs they have.
2. Although most of them are mostly red or orange in colour, beige or brown coloured knobbly sea stars have been spotted before also.

3. Can you believe that a knobbly seastar might be larger than your face? It’s about 30cm across! (look at the pictures below to get an idea)

4. As we need blood in our bodies to survive, sea stars need sea water to survive. So do not remove them from the water if possible!

5. Read more about knobbly sea stars @

Finally, a traditional group photo with the knobbly sea star (picture below)

Well, although verbally, it has been a quite tiring morning, i did enjoy the company. =D
Thank you, upside downs for this 'entertaining' morning, remember to only make noise when needed and don't make more teachers erm... dislike your class. =P

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