Thursday, June 11, 2009

Semakau Inter-Tidal walk on 11 June 2009

Discovery Posting Ninety Eight:

Together with a group of fiddler crabs (the group name for my group of participants), we stepped onto the Semakau land fill island to visit the beautiful inter tidal area. And as we made our way towards our destination on the island, the rising sun decided to give us a morning greeting by rising slowly behind us (picture below).
After a short trek through a forest trail, we reached the inter-tidal area and proceeded to make our way towards the reefs. And of course, I stopped the fiddler crabs in the seagrass meadows for a quick and wacky group photo (photo below). So our first 'discovery' of this posting is flatworms (pictures below)Discovery Note:
1. If you have a chance to look at them in real life, you will notice that their name is as such because they have a really flat body (probably some of you can spot this by looking at the photos).
2. Being flat has its advantages, being flat means that flatworms can easily move into any space. This allows them to hide or find food easily.
3. Do you know that flatworms actually have a central nervous system and a simple brain to help them co-ordinate their muscular system.
4. Flatworms also do not have a blood circulatory or respiratory system as oxygen can diffuse rather quicky across their skin and to the other parts of their body.
5. Read more about flatworms @

Today, our hunter seekers (guides who move off eariler than any group to locate interesting organisms for participants to see and also an important batch of people who help to make the guided walks an easier job) also managed to find us the star of the walk, the knobbly sea star (picture below).
With the star on-show, we just have to take a photo for memories with it (pictures below)The fiddler crabs pose... hehe (picture below)As we moved closer to the reefs, our hunter seekers found another two organisms nearby to one another. Here's one of them, the second 'discovery', a sunflower mushroom coral (picture below). Discovery Note:
1. Corals mostly live attached to something, a rock, the seafloor, etc. But mushroom corals, when large, live disattached.
2. However when they are young, they attach themselves onto things like rocks.
3. Another difference is that while corals are a group of animals living together (this animal is called a polyp), the mushroom coral is either made up of a single polyp or just a few polyps.
4. As their skeleton is really hard and sometimes spikey, and of course not forgetting that polyps have stings, it is best not to handle them with your bare hands.
5. Read more about sunflower mushroom corals @

And just nearby laid a sand fish sea cucumber, our third 'discovery' (picture below). Discovery note:
1. This is one of the species of the sea cucumber which humans commonly consume for food.
2. It is important to note that they need to be properly processed before eatting as tests indicate that they contain toxins.
3. We also call them the garlic bread sea cucumber due to its appearance.
4. Read more about them @

Well, that about warps up this posting for today. And oh ya, these were not all the organisms we saw during today's trip, it's just that I did not take photos for every organism. If you are interested to find out what other organisms we saw today, you can refer to the extras section.

Before I end, thanks again to the fiddler crabs for coming and I hope you had an enjoyable morning. =D

a) Read KS's blog posting for this trip:
b) Read MY's blog posting:

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