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Wild, wet walks on Changi's intertidal beach

Intertidal zones are showcases of resilience and pack a lot of abundant life in a small area - rather like Singapore

A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
Sea grass meadows, interspersed with weeds like these, can be seen during low tide at some beaches, like here at Changi Beach. These meadows create an underwater sheltered thicket that supports many organisms and shelters the young of many species from predators. ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
Haddon's carpet anemone. They lie around shores at intertidal zones, when the retreating tides expose them to our view. They can be as small as a palm and as big as half a metre across.ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
The cake sea star (above), one of many varieties of sea stars (commonly called starfish) on Changi Beach, is notable for its bright, cheerful colour; the spiny sea star; and the eight-armed sea star. ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
The cake sea star, one of many varieties of sea stars (commonly called starfish) on Changi Beach, is notable for its bright, cheerful colour; the spiny sea star; ( above) and the eight-armed sea star. ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
The cake sea star, one of many varieties of sea stars (commonly called starfish) on Changi Beach, is notable for its bright, cheerful colour; the spiny sea star; and the eight-armed sea star (above). ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through one opening, and process oxygen and nutrients from it, and then squirt out the waste water through another opening on top of their bodies - hence the name. They are special among marine invertebrates for having a primitive backbone, called a notochord, and for having muscle cells that send a signal to contract - rather like human heart cells. ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do.ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
Transparent sacs containing the egg capsules of the noble volute. When grown, these are hard-shelled snails with striking geometric patterns. The egg capsules are embedded on a broken piece of shell of the fan clam.ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG
A spiky ball sponge. A sponge is an animal - it has many cells but no mouth, muscles, heart or brain. It is sessile, and cannot move from place to place. Sponges grow in one spot, like plants do. A colony of sea squirts. They suck in water through on
These are hunting trails of the oval moon snail, a ferocious predator that hunts buried clams. It uses its huge foot to clamp its prey. It has a raspy tongue (radula) that can drill a hole in a clam's shell, and even secretes acid to soften its victim's shell. ST PHOTO: CHUA MUI HOONG

The best time to walk the sea shores is at low tide.

This is when a larger expanse of beach is exposed, so animals and plants that are usually submerged under water at higher tides can be seen easily. This intertidal area - where land and sea meet, between high and low tide zones - nurtures a vast array of marine aquatic and animal life.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2021, with the headline 'Wild, wet walks on Changi's intertidal beach'. Subscribe