Monday, August 25, 2008

We adopted Nudistarré!

On 9 August 2008, the Naked Hermit Crabs were at the IYOR 2008 Singapore Reef Celebration and adopted a Cyrene Star which we named Nudistarré!

By looking at its photo, you can probably guess why we named it so. *grin* Most complimentary to our own naked selves of course!

Today, 3 weeks after the event, we finally received our star kit and adoption certificate. For a donation of $60 (the highest in the 2 days of adoption drive), the NHC adopted the star previously known as CR020. Nudistarré and its 99 other friends from Cyrene Reef were up for "adoption". You can't bring them home but the money goes into more Reef Celebrations and the printing of the upcoming blue plan by the IYOR committee in Singapore.

Nudistarré is just a teenage star with lots of years ahead of it! With luck, it'll get to live its full life span on Cyrene Reef!

In return, we will be updated every time the Nudistarré is spotted by the Star Trackers on Cyrene Reef. How exciting! The Star Trackers even gave Nudistarré its own blog page on their blog!

NHC and the Nudistarré

As part of the star kit, we also got some tidbits about "things you always wanted to know about knobbly sea stars".

How to tell an adult knobbly from a baby knobbly sea star?
Measure it from its armpit to its mouth!
By looking at its minor radius – the length from its “armpit” to its mouth at the center – we are able to differentiate adults from babies.
Adult Knobbly has minor radius more than 40 mm
Teenage “Sub-Adult” Knobbly is between 30 – 40mm
Baby Knobbly has minor radius less than 30mm!

What do Knobbly sea stars eat?

These chocolate chip sea stars don’t eat cookies! They eat snails, clams, sponges and even soft corals! They may also scavenge (eat dead animal bits) and sometimes eat seaweed as well.

Why are Knobbly sea stars endangered in Singapore?

In the past, Knobbly sea stars were among the most common large sea stars of Malaya. But many of its habitats have degraded or disappeared over the years. Without a good home and nursery, there will be no more new knobblies. Thus it is very important to make sure baby knobblies will have a home in years to come.

How do Knobbly sea stars make babies?

Like other sea stars, knobbly sea stars keep their eggs and sperms in their arms and wave them off to sea at the same time! Scientists have observed that knobbly sea stars get together in large numbers and have mass spawnings. The infant knobblies are microscopic and look nothing like the cute sea star we see. They drift about the sea until they are ready to settle down. Only then do they take on the star form we know and love!

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