A very un-inspired title. But I can’t think of a better one at the moment.
Spent yesterday afternoon at Lim Chu Kang mudflats for the survey. The survey was done along the stream. Quite soft mud, but deepest was only about knee deep, so not too bad. Someone unfortunately left one of his booties in the mud though.
Didn’t take photos as I was there to get my hands muddy and I didn’t want to have to handle my camera. Please visit the mega marine survey blog for more information and photos.
So what do we do at MMS (short for mega marine survey)? Basically, the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) staff will lay out a transect tape somewhere along our site. The NParks staff will distribute the equipment, namely a bucket, a container, a sieve and a spade. Then the volunteers will find a spot along the transect, dig up the mud about 15cm deep, and sieve the mud for animals, which will then put collected in the container/bucket.
What I found were mainly worms. Lots of polychaetes, small ones and big long ones. Ribbon worms too. These are very fragile, usually end up in pieces, sadly
Also had some snails, not sure what kinds though, as well as slugs. Hermit crabs, crabs, horseshoe crabs too. Not to forget the ubiquitous amphipods.
We also found some anemones, fairly huge about palm sized. Someone also managed to catch a scorpion fish.
All these will then be sorted and taken to the TMSI lab for processing. Not exactly sure what they’ll be doing with the specimens, but ultimately all the data will go into a database, a compilation of the fauna we have on our local shores.
I had a very enjoyable time on the shore, the mud was very therapeutic. Thinking back to the primary school kids who were at camp and refused to sit even on grass, I wonder if in the future, there will still be people like us who are willing to go outfield and get dirty?