Sep 27, 2007

Tuas with Schering Plough (27 Sep 07)

With Sheryl and Helen in the lead, the staff of Schering Plough were back out on the shores off Tuas to monitor the seagrasses.
Despite the threatening weather (it always seems to threaten when we are out at Tuas), the valiant ladies pressed on with the tasks at hand.
Here is Helen, Jennifer and Elena.

And Sheryl, Kayne and Michelle.

There seemed to be a lot of sand on the shore today and we had to look a bit to find the grassy patches. Oh dear.

I wandered off to talk to these other ladies who were out on the shores.
I couldn't really find out what they were doing and where they were from. Something to do with a project for NYAA. They promised to come for my talk on Saturday, so perhaps I'll catch up with them again then.

Soon, the Schering Plough team were done and everyone had a look at the shores.The shores were really doing well! There were large healthy carpet anemones.

Of course with tiny transparent anemone shrimps on them!

The sponges were doing well, with large and colourful clumps dotting the area.Further out among the coral rubble were pretty clumps of soft corals and various animals that is to typical of the shore at Tuas. It's like an underwater garden!
They formed delicate pastel bouquets.

And among them, we spotted two different kinds of sea cucumbers!One of the NYAA ladies spotted a sea star!
It's a Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera) which isn't really obvious until you have a look at the underside. These sea stars come in various sizes and colours and patterns, so the underside is the best way to be sure.

On the underside are all kinds of stuff.A row of tube feet emerge from the groove along the centre of each of the short arms. And all over the underside are these oval shaped structures that are typical of the Cake sea star.

Alas, just as we were starting to enjoy the exploration, the weather really turned bad. A vast swathe of ominous dark clouds rolled in, the wind blew and we could almost feel the lightning building up. So we hastily packed up and rushed back to the safety of the Schering Plough facilities.

We shall just have to wait until the next monitoring to see more of this wonderful Tuas shore.

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