Friday, June 26, 2009

Who uses the most Velcros?

Have you ever encounter sponges or seaweed that moves? Well, is not illusion and most likely you have just encounter the real camouflage master – Velcro Crab (Camposcia retusa)!
The crab are so smart and select only suitable sponges, algae, coral, detritus, and any items that is available onto its body to match its background.
Holding of these items firmly on their body made possible with dense hooked-hairs that are all over their body. The hairs act like Velcro which it is named after.
The attached sponges and algae often continue to grow. The crabs move very slowly and when they stay still, it is almost impossible to spot them.

The underside of the Velcro crab. Even the underside is also covered with bits and pieces of the materials that matches the background.Another Velcro crab that doesn't looks like a crab at all!

Many of the technology that we use today, a lot are from the animals, from the nature that some don't even know their existence. So, who invented Velcro? Who use the Velcros technology most widely? Human or crabs?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beting Bronok Exploratory Trip

I was told to look out for stingray if I am going to Beting Bronok (BB) as my CH was stung by sting-ray just last month also during an exploratory trip.

True enough, we saw this Mangrove Whip Ray (Himantura walga) half burried in the sands and it remains there even when I move just next to it to take photo. When the water is clear, no problem of spotting it and just do a detour. If the water is milky, the risks of stepping onto one will be very high. Sting-ray have a very sharp spine at their tail and can easily puncture our shoe when we accidentally step on them.
I also saw this very pretty Blue spotted fantail ray (Taeniura lymma). Blue spotted ray are quite a shy fish and will swim away once we get near them.Is the breeding seasons for this Hairy sea hare (Bursatella leachi). There are just every where.
This is another quite common but rarely seen Polybranchia orientalis slug as their colouration and shape of algae, made it difficult to spot. Their cerata will just drop when disturbed.
A very unique Blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina) nudibranch that are labeled as solar power ready! The juveniles feed on zooxanthellae-rich hydroids to recruit them. The zooxanthellae will multiply in the nudibranch tissues. The zooxanthellae will photosynthesized and past the nutrient to the nudibranch!We also saw this Discodoris boholensis nudi.There are lots of sea star at BB such as this Biscuit Star (Giniodiscaster scaber).
Not just biscuit, there are lots of Cake Sea Star (Anthenea aspera) too. We sae the one on top and also some with pink colour.
The Sea Pen take the opportunity in fast moving water to filter-feed.
I am not sure why the colour of this Ghost shrimp is not the usual orange /red.
During spring low tide, the tide will go down very fast and very low. These file fish was caught unprepared and trapped in this very tiny tidal pool.
This Moray eel face the same situation and got stranded on the dry area.
This little Butterfly fish is happily swimming among the seaweed.I spotted 11 Sea horses this morning and is one of my highest count in any one trip.
There are lots of Onxy cowry (Cypraea onyx) too.
Less than 1 cm, this Allied cowrie need a very sharp eyes if you thinking of finding them.
This Noble volute is quite big in size compare with volute that I saw at Changi.
The highlight of the day is this very beautiful and rare Bailer shell.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lake Monster in Ubin?

Like many legends or stories of Lake monster such as Loch Ness, do we have one in Singapore?The photo above were taken at Pulau Ubin using a 500mm lens. With naked eyes, it looks exactly a lake monster!!!
Is an oversized monitor lizard sticking out the head from the water while swimming!

Do you want a lake monster in Singapore? :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Myna - Common or Javan?

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) was one of the very common birds in Singapore once but was loosing grounds to their cousin Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus).

I find Common Myna more and more photogenic thus decided to do a posting just on Common Myna. This good looking bird have a black head, brown body, bright yellow beak, eye patch, and legs. Below are some of the photos I took last Sunday when I visits Pulau Ubin with Ling.
The Common Myna is just so beautiful when capture on photos.
This is the same photo that I posted on Monday showing a thirsty Myna drinking water.
Since birds don't carry tissue paper or handkerchief, they just wipe their beak on the tree branches after drinking water.
Another photo of Common Myna on flight.From far both Common & Javan Myna looks very similar. Just in case you are not sure which is which, this is the Javan Myna, without the very distinctive eye patch. Does it looks like a big bully?
In most places (nature area) like this, it will be good if there are network that we can log on to check the huge resources available such as Google and MSN or email friends/experts to find out the facts/info. We can even search photos library such as Flickr to compare what we just spotted...
"Live Life Online Anywhere with SingTel BroadBand on Mobile Youth Plan! Visit for details."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Seeing Is Believing?

Seeing is believing! Do you really think so? What we see is true?

Study the photos below carefully.... and find out the answer below.

您是否真正地认同眼见为实? 仔细地观察以下的相片。答案在页底端

Nothing wrong with the birds, the tree branches nor the water. All of them are real except the photos are placed upside-down! Now, Do you still always believe what you see?


Blue-throated Bee-eater Feeding

This is the follow-up posting on the Blue-throated Bee-eater that I have posted on Tuesday. As I process my photos, I realised that all dragonfly caught are for the juvenile only. The bee-eater alternate the hunting between dragon fly & bees.The adult bee-eater (on the left with longer tail) feed the juvenile with dragonfly.
The juvenile bee-eater with the mouth wide open waiting for the offer from the adult bird. The juvenile is adjusting the dragonfly before swallow it down the throat.
The juvenile is trying to swallow another dragonfly and the adult is now back with bee in the mouth and knock the bee against the perch before eating it.
The bee-eater come back with another bee

The juvenile was waiting but the adult refuse to offer the bee to the juvenile
The adult bee-eater even move to another side to prevent the juvenile from getting the bee.

From this observations, I can only think of 3 possibilities of why the adult blue-throated bee-eater feed only dragonfly to the juvenile:

1. The size of the dragonfly is bigger thus provide more food.
2. The dragonfly can provide additional nutrient that the bees can't.
3. To prevent the juvenile from getting stung by the bees.

I will have to find out more as I am also interested to find out the real reason. Will update here when I have more info.
First posted on 11 June 09 1:12PM

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Project Semakau Transect Survey

It was raining while we are on our way to Semakau this morning for the Project Semakau Transect Survey.The rain has stopped when we arrived at SemakauThe sun slowly claimed back his position and brighten up the sky from the east.Without wasting much time, the volunteers gather the equipment after the briefing and ready to move to the inter-tidal area.Is was a cool and nice morning, the short walk to the entry point was a pleasant one. The volunteers take the opportunity to catch-up with the fellow volunteers.
We saw this peanut worm on the sandy area just before the sea-grass lagoon. Below are some of the animals that we saw. Saw this little thorny sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens)I came across 2 small Knobbly sea star A small white colour feather star A moon snailA egg laying Melongena snailand 2 juvenile Horse-shoe crab.