31 December 2010

2011 is International Year of Forests!

With the theme of “Forests for People”, 2011 is designated International Year of Forests and will celebrate the central role of people in our world’s forests.
The elements in the design depict some of the many values of forests and the need for a 360‐degree perspective. Forests provide shelter to people and biodiversity; provide food, medicine and clean water; and a vital role in global climate and environment. More on the official International Year of Forests website.

Busting Myths about Monitors

(Photo by Ria)

In my previous post, I discussed some basic aspects about the biology of the Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator). Despite being relatively common, and often encountered by visitors to many of our parks and coastal areas, a great deal of misinformation about this lizard exists. And despite its size, it also faces a number of threats from human activities.

Magnificent Monitors

Today is the last day of 2010, and to conclude the International Year of Biodiversity, I decided it would be a good idea to talk about an iconic member of Singapore's native fauna.

Where it comes to scaly encounters, almost all of us would be familiar with the little house geckos that scurry about on walls and ceilings. Many of us would also be familiar with the changeable lizards (often misidentified as chameleons) that are often seen basking on trees and fences in parks and gardens. But these lizards are featherweights compared to their massive cousins, the monitors.

What does civet cat poop look like?

And why should we care?
Apparently, civet cat poop doesn't always look like 'blueberry jam' (oops, sorry to those eating while reading this).

Poop is important because it tells us more about what civet cats eat.

30 December 2010

22 Jan (Sat): Race Against Time – Science behind a Botanic Garden Tour

A unique behind-the-scenes look at research being done on our rapidly disappearing flora.
Join this free tour by staff of the Singapore Botanic Gardens to learn more about the Gardens’ research work.

26 December 2010

Why DIDN'T the chicken cross the road?

Because it can fly! So says Subaraj Rajathurai about our wild Red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus). Other ways this wild bird is different from domesticated chickens are outlined in the photo below posted by Sivasothi much earlier.
Amanda Tan of the National University is studying these birds. Members of the public have been contributing their sightings to her study too. So what has she found out?

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