Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sex in the Tropics: Coral Spawning '08

Friday, 25th April.
3rd day of 2008 coral spawning event.
Pulau Satumu, aka Raffles Lighthouse 8.30pm.
Had the privilege of assisting MBL labbies in their coral spawning projects. Even though there were quite a few hints of murphy's law working that night, any spawning dive is still a good dive. :)

A few facts on coral spawning before the pix:
  • Coral mass spawning has been hypothesized to "increase the chances of gametes meeting, enhance the possibility of outbreeding and toswamp opportunistic predators".
  • Coral spawning in Singapore was first recorded by Dr James Guest of Tropical Marine Science Institute, NUS in 2002.
  • It was the first record of coral spawning in the tropics ("In equatorial regions where sea temperature range and tidal amplitude are often small, it was predicted that reproductive seasonality and synchrony between species would be reduced")
  • Synchronous spawning occurs on the 3rd to 5th nights after the full moon between 8 and 10 p.m.
  • At least 18 different coral species from ten genera and five families (Acroporidae, Faviidae, Merulinidae, Oculinidae and Pectiniidae) have been observed to spawn in our waters!
Other accounts of mass spawning events: in the Phillippines 2008, Singapore 2006

also check out the nurse shark they spotted on day 2 of spawning! damn jealous la. anyhow.. YJ and I saw a gigantuous pufferfish (1m long?) and a super cute decorator-sponge crab. too bad din bring camera down.. oh well... More on E1's underwaterlover blog and SY's urbanforest blog

Photos below are from SY & YJ from the first two nights of spawning...

Acropora ready to burst/ bursting with eggs
close up of the polyps

Pink among the green.

blob blob

ooooooh.. haha

Noob's post dive thoughts of coral spawning:
  • Have a theory that the more sotongs our boatmen catch, the more spawning there is
  • The fishes seem to know when the corals are gg to spawn, with more schools this month than in May when YJ did her check-out dive.
  • Wonder how climate change are/will be affecting this synchronous spawning event. Felt like the spawning seemed less than last year's. Couldn't see the pink blobs floating on the water surface. But then again maybe coz it was already the last (3rd) day of spawning.
Till next year...

P.S.: Marine bio lab is always looking for competent *and* committed divers to assist in their work dives. Interested divers need to be medically certified and have experience in diving in local waters. Feel free to contact Angie at

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

BBC: Penguins spotted flying to tropical rainforests

from Environmental Graffiti.
well with hail storms in Singapore, everything seems possible nowadays right?

Happy April Fools. :)