Jan 24, 2008

Sentosa (24 Jan 08)

A cool evening over Sentosa and you can see the seagrasses and marinelife on this marvellous natural shore.We wasted no time (not even taking the traditional group photo) and got down to monitoring the seagrasses straightaway. This natural shore outside the sea wall has lots of Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) and Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis). The tide was not very low but the team worked fast in the fading light.

Sam and Kenef joined us shortly, having rushed in from work. And we went exploring.This Sentosa shore has lots of living corals. And many of the kind that glows in the dark at sunset.Living corals are a colony of animals called polyps. And while some may appear to be dead rocks, a closer look will reveal the tiny polyps and the tiny hard skeleton that each produces.
While most corals are immobile, some like this one, are free living and unattached as adults. This is a mushroom coral (probably Herpolitha limax).
There are also soft corals. They are colonial too, being made up of tiny animals that live in a shared leathery tissue. So they are sometimes also called leathery corals.Robin found a tiny flatworm! These worms are really flat and sometimes mistaken for nudibranchs.Later on, I saw one that was the 'normal' size...as big as the palm of your hand! It's quite a handsome worm.The shores were covered in the green hairy seaweed (Bryopsis sp.). And sharp-eyed Sam spots the little hairy slugs that are usually seen in this seaweed. The seaweeds are also coated in tiny beachfleas!
We saw lots of Copperbanded butterflyfishes (Chelmon rostratus) today! Siti says this is a sign that the shore is healthy and doing well. Some pools had several of these colourful fishes. When you see them edgewise, they almost disappear!

All too soon, we had to call it a day. While some of the more hungry ones left early, Sam and Kenef carried on until the tide came all the way in. Sam shares what they saw in his the wilder side of Sentosa, without the alcohol on the ramblings of a peculiar nature blog.

Thank you to all who came for the monitoring today: Robin, Edmund, Michelle, Vyna, Jerald and Sam and Kenef for keeping us company.

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