Week three here in KL was kicked off with a trip to a local mangrove site, Morib. Last year I quite enjoyed working amongst mangrove trees; it’s probably the tropical paradise you imagine I’m working in:
This mangrove was anything put paradise. Think Glastonbury-esque mud to wade through only remove cool bands and chilled beer and add in sulphurous smells, spiders, sweltering heat and the constant worry that you’re about to put your hand on a snake. It was a really useful trip, however, and we collected several important seaweed species. Crabs were abundant, lots of tiny pinkish-coloured crabs formed small crustacean tides as they ran away from you to burrow into the sand. I also saw my first hermit crabs. Unfortunately the only horseshoe crab was deceased, but I just had to take a picture for the geologist-groupie in me!
Another first-time spot – mudskippers, the mangrove was teaming with them and they are so cute. Mudskippers are actually fish, but are completely amphibious and can use their fins to walk on land where they are also at home and active – feeding, fighting and generally, well, skipping about.
Back in KL I set about rapidly incubating and studying all the species I’d brought back from the mangroves before any of them had the chance to die off on me (as the poor Kappaphycus we brought back from the seaweed farm did). It was also the last week my supervisor was out in KL with me, so there was plenty of last minute planning and discussions. I’ve now got my analytical instrument set up to analyse air samples as well as seawater, so it’s full speed ahead with measurements from here on in.
Sunday I took the day off and walked miles around KL visiting museums and art galleries and just generally being touristy, I saw some pretty things which hopefully I’ll share with you soon.