Dolphins and low tide surprises

Amazing marinelife were encountered during a dive at Kusu Island and the flurry of trips to various shores during this last low spring tide.

Dolphins are encountered twice. Pasir Ris is explored and found teeming with sand stars. And a large rare snail encountered on Changi!

Dolphins were sighted! On the way to Pulau Semakau and to Cyrene Reef, but only by the awake and eagle-eyed among the teams. The rest of us slackers missed the sightings. Sigh.

Just before the low tide started, the first ReefFriends survey of Kusu Island was conducted.Among the amazing encounters was this shrimp that lives in Bubble coral!Other sightings included feather stars, anemone fish and many kinds of nudibranchs.

This series of low tide, a few volunteers went along with the very cool Dr James Reimer a zoanthid expert, here with the lovely Liana on the way home from Cyrene Reef.
What are zoanthids? They're little flower-like animals that live in colonies and often carpet stones, rocks and even the ground under seagrasses on our shores.
Here's more about zoanthids found with Dr James on Kusu Island, Pulau Hantu, Changi and Cyrene Reef. On Cyrene Reef, Dr James found a zoanthid that he first saw in the Galapagos!

The zoanthid hunt at Pulau Hantu reveals a thriving reef.The lagoon was littered with mushroom corals of all kinds and sizes.
An amazing variety of feather stars were also encountered; red, black, and multicoloured ones.

SJ has done a wonderful summary of all the marvellous marinelife encountered during the zoanthid hunts.
Here's some of the stunning nudibranchs seen.

Pasir Ris was a shore explored for the first time by Kok Sheng and the sand star team.
The deluge did not stop them from their study of the shore, although it did dampen the mood.
Pasir Ris was teeming with sand stars of all colours and sizes and patterns.
Also encountered were large gatherings of short-spined black sea urchins!
And even a seahorse! There were also other kinds of sea stars, octopuses and more.

Changi very much alive!

Changi was also visited several times during this low tide. On the sandier portions of this long shoreline, lots of sea stars were encountered!Besides the very pretty Biscuit sea stars above, Kok Sheng and the sand star team saw possibly 8 species of sea stars on Changi! They also saw a seahorse, lots of peacock anemones and sea anemones and other wonderful marinelife there.It was also heartening to hear that a large living Bailer snail (Melo melo) was seen on Changi. The previous time a Bailer snail was seen, it was being collected by someone who was going to cook and eat it! This large snail is on the list of threatened animals of Singapore because of over-collection and habitat loss. It's such a shame to cook something that is threatened and nearly extinct on our shores.

Elsewhere on Changi, the sea fans seem to be returning in full splendour.
With large bushy red ones.
And chunky orange ones, despite the rather murky waters.
An orange sea horse was encountered.
As well as a large feather star, with a little brown brittle star (at the lower right corner of the photo). Changi is most definitely alive!

TeamSeagrass conducted monitoring sessions at Tuas and Cyrene this low tide.
Cyrene Reefs continue to fascinate with encounter such as with this frog fish.
And cowfish!

There was also a trip to Raffles Lighthouse with a fascinating look at the lighthouse and its history.

This low tide period also saw a frenzy of outreach activities including
More blog entries of trips and activities during the last low tides by location

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