Sunday, April 13, 2008

Biophilia Programme - Finding Nemo

The morning started out with a nice view of the seashore exposed by the low tide (0.3m). The sky was clear and the sound of the ebbing waves beckoned.

The students were to carry out their transect study. I was with a group of them when they set up a 40 m long line transect across the intertidal zone. It must have been one of those fulfilling days as a bio teacher. The sun, the sand and the ebbing waves washing at our ankles as we looked for yet one more creature to surprise us with its existence in its strange form. The day's new creature of the day started off with the slender seamoth.

Its not uncommon on these fieldtrips to the shore to hear students go "wow" in amazement at an entirely new creature they have seen.... Come to think of it.. how many times in our lives do we come across anything really new in the flesh.


The slender seamoth was really calm as we comtemplated it... see the shadows of our heads hovering over it as we trained camera lenses on it. We pondered over whether it was a stargazer or seawasp.

That's the 40m transect which took a group an hour plus to complete documenting the creatures they saw.

And here's a makeshift square transect that the group who had done were particularly proud of.

The low tide really exposed a lot of creatures and lots of carpet anemones were exposed in those pools. It was with Mr Nah's patience and keen eye that we spotted the prawn that was swimming within those tentacles of one. And soon enough what must have been quite the highlight of the day was to spot a clownfish, at home within the tentacle of the carpet anemone. Now, we have seen Nemo in aquarium and the movies, but to come across on in situ was a different thing all together... we all beamed at such a discovery.


It must have been on of the most fulfilling visits to that fieldsite. I think partly it could be attributed to the fact that we set up transects and had a more considered approach to our survey.


We work to the ominous backdrop of mega construction and each time I go there, I half expect the place to be cleared and cordoned off for some pointless attraction. The day that happens, I will be cynical, for I have come to know of creatures who await discovery by students.

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