Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Red Ruby & Yellow Ribbon

It was a dark and stormy night.

Snoopy will probably use this to describe our pre-dawn walk last Sunday if he were to write a story about it.

Indeed, it had been raining for the previous few nights before the walk. But some how, the sea star# in me caused me to forget to look out of the window before I left home.

Oh yeah, I had my poncho in my bag. But I forgot to bring along my rain jacket. And it's not about looking cool, you know? The weather's cooling enough. But rather, it's much easier to move around in a jacket. I always feel like some cheapo gift loosely wrapped up with some ugly green wrapping paper whenever I have the poncho on.

But anyway, back to the pre-dawn walk proper. That was the first time I got to visit CJ at night. It was just drizzling a little initially, so we decided to carry on with the walk.

And skipping to the more interesting part... since Ria should have included most of the other interesting stuff in her entry...

As I was happily walking towards the beacon, I suddenly saw some red thing among the seaweeds.

Reaction 1 - Hey! Anybody bought red ruby from the coffeeshop just now? You spilled some of them onto the seaweeds!

But hey... Salah, salah. Don't think red rubies come in this size...

Reaction 2 - Is it an ascidian?

Ahem... seems like it's moving too much to be an ascidian..

Reaction 3 - Alamak! It's a red nudibrach! Is it eating yellow noodles??? Looks like mee pok to me..

Mr Brown will probably comment that it looks like ba cho mee pok without the ba cho. But hey, let me tell you, those are eggs!!!

Yes!!! if you don't believe me, check with any of the marine biologists. Nudibranchs don't eat mee pok, with or without the ba cho.

And there it was, going round and round, laying the yellow egg ribbons. Maybe it's waiting for her husband, who probably kena jailed for possession of toxin, or have poisoned some fellow marine creatures... Not that many trees around to tie the yellow ribbons out at sea. Will have to make do with seaweeds.

Jokes aside, nudibranchs are simultaneous hermaphrodites. They have both male and female sexual organs. So it's kind of strange to use the term husband or wife on them. According to the Sea Slug Forum, this is a Dendrodoris fumata. According to what I found on the web, Dendrodoris nudibranchs tend to lay yellow egg ribbons on rocks or sea weeds, usually near sponges so that the young can feed on them when they emerge. And yes, right next to the sea weeds where I found the nudibranch was a little patch of blue sponge!

So the little ones won't go hungry, I'm sure. So if you happen to visit CJ in the near future, don't be surprise if you find some little red rubies munching away at the sponges!

# Sea star - a useful term to describe yourself or others who did something brainless. Sea stars don't have brains, but operate with just a nerve ring. Examples of usage: 1. I feel like a sea star today. 2. My dear friend, you talk like a protoreaster nodosus just now. 3. If you ask me to do this, I'll have to change my name to Archaster.


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