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From Ascidians to Zoanthids: The Intertidal Zone of St. John’s Island

on April 3, 2010

By some incredible stroke of luck, not only did I find my camera (a shitty one but still, a camera’s a camera), I’d also been invited to join an assorted group of people in visiting the intertidal coast of St John’s Island and the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) facility there.

This way to St. John's Island

The Island Beckons!

Arriving on the island at around 7:20am, we had barely enough time to catch what remained of the low tide. We were met at the jetty by Juanhui, a researcher with TMSI, who happened to be involved in the SECORE workshop monitoring the ongoing mass coral spawning event happening in Singapore right now. After a short safety briefing, it was off to the rocky shore!

White-orange black flatworm (Pseudobiceros uniarborensis)

No idea what species of octopus this is

Can anyone identify this species?

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) perched high over the coast

Button Zoanthids?

I have absolutely No Idea what this is. Possibly a colonial Ascidian?

Is this a flatworm?

I THINK this is the Herrmann's sea cucumber (Stichopus herrmanni)...

A bit of soft coral (no idea what species this is either)

Sea mat zoanthid (Palythoa tuberculosa)

Two Poriferans trying to smother each other to death

In this case, one of the corals appears to be winning the battle...

Turban Snail

Big Pimply Onch Slug

Another Big Pimply Onch Slug

Star Barnacles (Euraphia sp.)

Chameleon nerite snail (Nerita chamaeleon)

Exploring the shore as the tide rolls in...

After the tide got too high for us to continue, it was time for a break, after which we headed off to the TMSI facility, where we were treated to a lecture by Dr Michael Laterveer from the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands on corals, followed by a very brief tour of the facility.

The Entrance to TMSI

Lecture by Dr Michael Laterveer

A pair of giant clams and a small colony of zoanthids in the TMSI viewing tank

All good things, however, must come to an end and it was soon time to head back, though not without taking more pictures along the way.

Domestic Cat (Felis domesticus)

Quaint little kampong house

The tranquility of the island

Now this is what I call a really Good Friday. Many thanks to Mrs Chua, who organised this whole trip, and the people at TMSI and SECORE, for being so kind and accommodating!

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One response to “From Ascidians to Zoanthids: The Intertidal Zone of St. John’s Island

  1. ria says:

    Thanks for sharing this trip! Glad to see the shore is still full of life!

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