Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Scenes - Sarikei Mini Crabs

Sarikei mangrove roots, 2007
Nyelong River
Source: Jimmy Ong

A mangal is a habitat where mangrove plants thrive while others can not. It's a hostile environment where the water logged soil is deprived of oxygen, the water is saline and tidal inundation is a norm. There are many types of mangrove trees and one common characteristic is breathing though the pores (lenticels) on the bark of the roots that stick above the soil.

Sarikei mangrove roots, 2007
Nyelong River
Source: Jimmy Ong

Another type of mangrove has specialised root-like structures covered with lenticels and stick out of the soggy soil for breathing. We don't really observe these plants when we were kids. What we cared about was the ecosystem of creatures that lived in the mangrove haibtat.

Sarikei mini crab, 2007
Nyelong River. How did it keep clean?
Source: Jimmy Ong

Mangrove crabs improve the nutritional quality of the mangle muds for other bottom feeders by mulching and burying the mangrove leaves. Their faeces contribute to the food chain in the mangal. The crabs and their larvae are part of a food chain for larger predators and other predators like kids trying their stoning skills. Are you pleaing guilty now?

Sarikei crab mound, 2007
Across Sarikei River. New residential area.

As you move away from the rivers, you can find something that look like some monsters have crapped along the low lying swamps. In the mounds of crap, you will have another species of crab, popularly known as kamat in local slang. There's an entrance in the mound for the bigger crabs. To catch this crab, plunge a stick at the base of the mound. The crab will scramble out of the entrance where you pin it down with a plastic bag. Then you can use your other bare hand to catch it just behind its pincers. Now you have a new pet for the next few days and you can watch it make bubbles.

Sarikei crab mound, 2007
Find the crab and the burrows
Across Sarikei River. New residential area.

The smaller kamat are very difficult to catch. They can scurry into one burrow and exit another through their underground maze. Wanna play hide and seek? You know that game where you whack the clown that pops out randomly from different holes? You won't get a high score here.


Daniel Yiek said...

The poll in the sidebar is pretty even in terms of what the readers like to read. The toughest posts to write are the history/heritage ones. Some of you have been asking for the posts of the history of Sarikei migrants. I don't the time to go thru all the notes yet from my research at the Sarikei and Kuching libraries. Stay tuned.

Lidasar said...

To catch the Kamak is easy, at the end of the cord fasten red rubber bands or even better the red "Bunga Raya", the National flower. This Kamak will be seduced by anything red.

nelson said...

yes, i used to catch kamak with hibiscus too, or sometimes just rubber bands,then put them in the pail and watched them creating bubbles from their mouths. grandma used to say that they are doing their cooking, =)

Daniel Yiek said...

Cikgu of St Anthony's,
It nice to know that a teacher is telling Form 2 students about this blog. I have always like writing essays. ;)

If the principal is reading this, I hope to get access to school magazines before 1974 when I'm back in Sarikei so that I have really old content to document in this blog.

From: (email address removed)
Subject: hi
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 14:21:51 +1200

to: mr daniel

just now im using google search for sarikei map( for my student) . im a teacher of smk st anthony....i saw ur website about sarikei..... so nice.....tq..
i show it to my student(form 2)... they like it .....


cikgu murdiah marzuki
st anthony

jimmy said...

school magazine of 1974? that's a very very old archive! Hope they have it.

Who is the school principal of 1974?

Daniel Yiek said...

I have the 1974 Anthonian. All the pictures and content of interest of 1974 Anthonian has been blogged. Click label "St Anthony" at sidebar. I'm looking for 1969-1973 Anthonians. It's likely at the principal's office or some vault.

Mr KA Titus was principal since 1973. Click label "Titus" at sidebar.

love said...

'Kamak Souce' Any1???? use to see my mother eat it during my younger days. why? still don believe? Ha ha. Don know how it's made but surely it's from 'Kamak' Crab.

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