Chewed-up Pentaceraster mammillatus at Cyrene!

I forgot to bring my camera, and so have no photos. Which I’m very sad about, because it’s not often that I get to go Cyrene, and Cyrene is a simply awesome place.

A bit about Cyrene:
Cyrene reef is a submerged reef in the middle of Singapore’s shipping lanes. It’s only exposed at really low tides, and it’s really cool because all around you, when you’re on Cyrene, you see those big container ships passing, as well as the oil refineries and ports. And you’d think that there’s no life there, but Cyrene is, in my opinion and limited outlook, the most awesome place in Singapore. More about Cyrene: http://www.wildsingapore.com/places/cyrene.htm and http://cyrenereef.blogspot.com/

So anyway, went out to Cyrene Reef this afternoon to help Siti with her doctorate project. She is doing something about shading for the seagrasses on Cyrene reef, and we (Andy, Siti (her sister) and Sean) were helping her mark out the points where she would putting her quadrats. We spent quite some time trying to figure the math and setting the transect lines straight, and there were also two driftnets tangled up in the middle of one of her quadrats, so we moved it out. But we soon pegged down the markers she needed and were free to explore Cyrene for a bit! (:

Cyrene is Knobblies galore! Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) are everywhere, though rarely found on other shores. Babies and adults, skinny ones and fat ones, pretty coloured ones and weirdly coloured ones.

We also managed to find a Pentaceraster mammillatus! Which is supposed to be quite rare, even on Cyrene. But it was very badly chewed-up 😦

Chewed-up Pentaceraster mammilatus

Photo credit to Sean.

It only has two full arms left. Though sea stars, like some species of lizards, are able to re-grow their arms (or tails in the case of lizards) when they drop off, it’s not good to hold them by their arms cos they’ll get stressed and detach their arms. And it’s sad to see arm-less sea stars 😦

Also saw lots of little swimming crabs, hairy crabs and an elbow crab! Sponges, carpet anemones, colonial anemones, corals, and of course, seagrasses. And seaweed.

The seagrasses at Cyrene are just stunning. So many different species can be found in just one quadrat, of size 50cm by 50cm. And to be able to stand in the middle of a seagrass meadow and see seagrass all around you is an awesome and happy feeling(: Don’t suppose many people can appreciate it, and I guess I’m still young enough for this kind of experience to be impressionable and uplifting 😛

Didn’t manage to see peacock anemones, octopuses, sea hares, flatworms, nudibranchs and most of the other stuff that I saw the previous trips. Maybe cos I wasn’t looking hard enough. The other group that Ria brought down, a group of environmental engineers, were fortunate enough to spot two nudibranchs (sea slugs) and even a blacktip reef shark!

The boatride back to Republic of Singapore Yacht Club (RSYC) was enjoyable. I love the feeling of the wind in my face. I love boat rides. And I’m so glad (as are all the other people) that the heavy rain with lightning and thunder stopped so that we could go out.

Had dinner after that and it was good. Always enjoyed dinner with them, I learn so many things.

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About Jocelyne Sze

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
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