Last year, I planned a mum and son date with Yi my eldest post PSLE. We had an enjoyable time baking together. He is more chill and prefers indoor activities. After our baking session, we went to Tiong Bahru Cafe to chill.
This year, knowing how different my sons are, I was thrilled to know of Young Nautilus’ nature walks and I signed up for its camp for Bao. He loves outdoor and enjoys the zoo, aquarium and I was sure he would enjoy this intertidal walk to explore on these wonderful animals! I decided to blog this outing as I was personally impressed by how beautiful and amazing God’s creation are! It was a tiring but totally immersive experience that we savoured together.
- Squid Attack! Literally. (from the supermarket pack)
We learnt about the anatomy of the squid and its organs. Personally, I am not a seafood person, I only see seafood. Naturally, I do not cook seafood except fish. Yes, poor hubs has to get his seafood fix outside or dabao back home.
It was an eye opening experience as we managed to extract the beaks and its lens of the eye (bottom right hand photo). It also has a spine called the ‘pen’ that looked like a plastic blade.
2) Picking Litters
Part of the package was to pick up litter from the beach and raise awareness on caring for the environment. We had this young boy maybe 5-7yo in our group. He was an eager beaver, enthusiastically picking up all the litters along the way and we were both amused and impressed by his zeal! It motivated us to collect more too. However, we were also distracted and absorbed by the tiny creatures along the shores while litter picking. My finds below! The crab was not alive therefore our nature guide Tabby picked it to explain the difference between swimmers and climbers. Swimmers have rounder legs while climbers have sharp claws. Makes absolute sense! On the left is a hermit crab that took over the empty snail’s shell as its home.
Here’s the cutest crab I’ve seen! introducing the sand bubbler crab!
From here onwards, are the intertidal animals where the tide is low and we could see all the amazing creatures bubbling in the sandy, muddy waters! The bottom right is called a thumbs-up sea squirt. It actually squirted water from the hole like a water gun! The bottom left is the pink sea cucumber. In the video you can see how the feeding tentacles open and close!
‘The top left is the eggs of the sea snail, melongena sea snails to be exact. The white bone under it, is the reduced internal shell of the cuttlefish. Remember when we dissected the squid, there was a pen we had to take out? So that was the reduced internal shell of squid. Both squids and cuttlefish have them as that is a common characteristic of the cephalopod family.’ (By Tabby)
Bottom left is the Sand Dollar. On the right, the first is a shell of the sea urchin contrasted with the live tuft of green urchin.
Top right is the sand collar of moon snails. The bottom right is an amazing carpet sea anemones where it felt like tiny suctions sticking to your finger when touched! It was one of the rare moments we can touch VERY gently the sea animal. The instruction is to stroke very gently and slowly to avoid scaring the creature.
This station consists of all sorts of sea cucumbers including the ones we eat! Those brightly coloured ones are poisonous. Please be careful not to touch any colourful animals! This crab sadly did not live, but its tale was told by our tour guide. The flower crab is tiny here unlike the ones we can eat even though it’s the same species.
Throughout this field trip, we were soaking up the wonders of God’s nature. Sonny was excited to take his own pictures and videos on his newly owned phone.
Intertidal Treasures at Changi Beach
If you do explore on your own, please remember to wear shoes or water booties to prevent from getting stung by animals. Do respect the animals by observing it and if you wish to check if it is alive, just gently prod the surrounding soil and NOT prod at the animal itself. The best is to leave them alone and enjoy their activities in their natural state! You can check out Young Nautilus nature walks if you want a guide for an educational and immersive experience. This is not a sponsored post. I admire how these young adults are trying to make a living and advocating for all of us to care for our environment and would like to also play a part in supporting this educational effort.
Lastly, let me leave you with this GIF that my girl did on creating awareness for all explorers to exercise restraint and enjoy nature while caring for them at the same time! Never take them out of their habitat to put in a pail or worse, bring them home! The animals will not survive. I noticed the Young Nautilus took extra care to present the animals in its natural space within the baskets so that they stay submerged in the intertidal area while we are being educated about their life and how we can appreciate and care for them through simple ways like not littering or taking them out of their habitat for fun.
After this experience, my boy and I grew to appreciate their amazing life forms and it motivated us to care for the environment much more!
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