The Wild Western Submerged Reefs

Date June 22, 2013


On the last day of the Mega Marine Survey, we visited the wild wild western reefs of Terumbu Pempang. These submerged reefs are less frequented by leisure divers as they are not easy to find, and even the seasoned researchers we had aboard our vessel had not dived these reefs before! Shortly into the dive, there was this beautiful Gorgonian shrimp. This individual has a beautiful pair of pincers. Read the rest of this entry »

Enigmatic Crustaceans (and other spineless wonders)

Date June 22, 2013

We revisit Pulau Hantu! As you can see, the visibility was much better this time around and we could actually see the reef. I think the sponges and black coral in the photo above appreciate the sunlight too! Read the rest of this entry »

On top, Inside, and Within

Date June 22, 2013


There’s life to be found in all sorts of weird and unexpected places on the reef. This tiny and beautiful cowrie was found on the surface of a soft coral at Pulau Jong, on a dive survey conducted during the Mega Marine Survey. It would have been easily missed without careful inspection! Read the rest of this entry »

The Silt Thickens

Date June 9, 2013

The heavy loading of silt in Singapore waters can make it a real challenge for the larvae of many marine flora and fauna to settle onto the reef habitat, where they need to secure themselves to in order to feed and mature. Just imagine you’re trying to plant flowers in a garden that’s getting rained on all the time! Read the rest of this entry »

Diving with the Minister of State

Date June 9, 2013

Every once in awhile, we are given a unique opportunity to showcase our marine life to some unique individuals who are influential, and possess a significant capacity to make a difference for our reefs! Today was one of those days as Senior Minister of State, Tan Chuan-Jin, came out diving with us! As this was a rare opportunity – we kept our fingers crossed that the visibility would be better than the previous days, and that all the critters would come out and exhibit their splendor! We took these expectations and headed to the reefs of Pulau Tekukor! Above: Dr Zeehan Jaafar (Smithsonian/NUS) shares interesting facts about local reefs and fauna with Minister Tan Chuan-Jin. Read the rest of this entry »

Cryptic Critters on Whips, Crinoids, and in the Dirt

Date June 7, 2013

Not only are we on an expedition, we’re on an expedition in really turbid waters. Losing your buddy is a given. But you won’t be able to do any work at all if you lose your equipment. So the less things you have to focus on getting a grip on, the better. In an attempt to keep his hands free (and look like a Gearhead) Dr Tan Heok Hui, who’s a fish biologist with the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity and Research, dons his helmet fitted with light and camera for our first dive at Pulau Hantu! Read the rest of this entry »

Surveying the Deep

Date June 7, 2013

The first Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey began in 2011, but this is the first time that diving is included as a survey method! Diving wasn’t included in the surveys conducted through 2011 and 2012 because the habitats that comprised mudflats and tidal shores along the Johor Strait, were not suitable for diving. This years Southern Expedition will explore Singapore’s Southern Shores of which Pulau Hantu is a part of! The Hantu Blog is thrilled to finally be a part of this expedition – the first of its kind in Singapore! Read the rest of this entry »

A Macro Look at Macro Life

Date June 6, 2013


If you love taking a closer look at life on the reef, you’ll love diving in Singapore. Though we do get surprised by some mega fauna every now and then – we’ve had schools of batfish, barracuda, and Silver moonies – to authentically enjoy Pulau Hantu’s reefs, we have to marvel at the impressive diversity of fauna that can fit within the palm of our hand. (Above: Goby on sponge) Read the rest of this entry »

Pinna, Porifera, and Pseudobiceros’ Penises

Date May 13, 2013

I’ve always thought these Blue-lined flatworms (Pseudoceros sp.) get their Latin name Pseudo- “not genuine” and Ceros- “horn” because they do not have “true horns”, that is, feelers. Those pinches at the top of their bodies that serve as sensory organs similar to antennae. Then I started getting confused because there is another genus of flatworms known as Pseudobiceros, and I was wondering what the difference was. Bi- suggests, there are two, and indeed all the flatworms have two antennae, so what sets them apart? Read the rest of this entry »

Clownfish Catfight

Date May 8, 2013

What happens when a pair of female anemonefish meet?

Read the rest of this entry »