SINGAPORE'S only sponge expert has uncovered 40 new records of this primitive life form in local waters over the past year.
This is just a fifth of the total number now known in Singapore, says Mr Lim Swee Cheng, 31.
'It was rather easy to find them. Every trip I made to places like Cyrene Reef and Pulau Semakau, I'd see 20 to 30 species. Our tropical waters make the biodiversity very rich with species,' the researcher said.
The new finds all come from the inter-tidal zone - the shoreline which receives the most exposure to the elements with the rise and fall of the tide.
RED MAIDEN FAN: Arguably Singapore's prettiest sponge, the Oceanapia sagittaria is just 7cm high. The fanlike protuberance is not always present and its body is buried in soft sediment, making it hard to spot despite it being common in local waters.
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A spongy kind of love
Expert finds 40 new species to add to rich haul in local waters
Shobana Kesava, Straits Times 30 Aug 08
full article also on the wildsingapore news blog