Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Coral Garden of East Coast

Tucked in the far end of the recreational beach at East Coast Park, is a hidden garden. At one of the lowest spring tide of the year the corals quietly peered through the crushing waves along the row of rock bunds, probably placed for a particular reason or use, as the Sun gets ready to rise.
The slowly exposed plate coral against the choppy waves.
Next to a rock wall, boulders of favid corals began to expose themselves too.
Favid coral
However, the disk-shaped (Turbinaria sp.) and plate-like (Montipora sp.) corals appears to be more common along this area.
Other than the corals, which surprised both Kok Sheng and Ria when they first did this shore very recently, there were also patches of seagrass such as the Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) and the Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides).
Long blades of the Tape seagrass
Ria found small patches of the Noodle seagrass (Syringodium isoetifolium), which are also long, further west of the shore, where Kok Sheng went to explore and found many lovely critters playing among the seagrass.
Image from Ria Tan
I wasn't play much attention to critters as I too focused on walking along the slippery rocks and quite a number of animals took advantage of the murky water to avoid being seen or photographed. I did stop at some points along the way and saw a few critters, including my first sighting of the saron shrimp and I saw at 4 them at one spot.
Saron shrimp
Another saron shrimp
I came across one red egg crab (Atergatis intergerrimus) and a few swimming crabs.
Red egg crab
Swimming crab, busy eating
There were quite a number of the large arabian cowrie (Mauritia arabica) on the rocky areas.
Arabian cowrie, overview
Arabian cowrie, underside
On the high shore, a horn-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) thinks that I didn't see it. The "horns" on its eyes have just started growing so the "horn-eyed" is not very obvious. When disturbed, the ghost crab speeds off on the sand and buries itself quickly. They are stealth moving animals hence the term "ghost".
Half buried horn-eyes ghost crab
Horn-eyed ghost crab
It was a tiring first pre-dawn trip of the year for me with many rock balancing acts. More eastern coral explorations tomorrow morning. Kok Sheng has found more critters in his blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...