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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


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05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

Thu 10 May 2007

RBZ Book Reviews

Category : pub

Each issue of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology includes book reviews of some new publications on zoology, ecology and biodiversity from the Southeast Asian region and beyond.

This region that has seen an explosion of publications in the past two decades and the reviews help popularise the titles to a specialised audience. Although all the pdfs are issued freely on the net, they might remain inaccessible and poorly referenced when not looked specifically looked for.

Hence this blog about the reviews has been started. This allows an internet audience an opportunity to stumble upon a blog post, link to or cite it, display colour images of the publication and provide active links to the web sites of various publishers, institutions, individuals and topics.

Many of the titles are evergreen and remain perpetually relevant and a blog post here will contribute to their web presence.

So the Raffles Museum Undergraduate Interns and myself have started this going just this week, and called it somewhat unimaginatively, RBZ Book Reviews!

Posted at 4:24PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 10 May 2007

Crab man not crabby when working on crabs

Category : people

Administrative duties have crept and threaten to consume the life of museum director and department biodiversity group head Peter Ng over the past half-decade. The frenetic work rate is a trademark of the museum and he often growls at us that we're wasting time on meals

So when NUS adopted the five day week, he should have growled all the more, but secretly he was pleased. You see, he is now able to nestle in his office or lab, pouring over the taxonomic problems of crabs in unimagined peace and quiet. When I'm back on a Saturday for volunteer meetings or special Public Gallery tours, I might see his office light on. We leave him be and by late afternoon, he'll emerge, starving.

Things are probably looking up these days with the department's biodiversity baton handed over to Navjot Sodhi. More about that later...

Some work days, Peter manages to elude non-research responsibilities. Joelle was tickled when she watched him working the other day with grad student J. C. in a genial mood. Taken by the rare sight of her supervisor not behaving like a hungry bear, she took photos and emailed me her favourite.

"Just thought I'd share with you a picture I took of Peter this afternoon. He was in a very good mood today and was checking through some drawings. I think he is happiest when he is working on his crabs.

Made me go awwwww and I decided to take a photo. I think its really nice!"


"Peter Ng and JC checking through Herbst's drawings"

Swee Hee explained the delight of this nomenclatural hunt was accentuated by the colour slides of Herbst's drawings. Peter took colour slide photos his plates when he was in Berlin. So it was a veritable feast that day in the Systematics & Ecology Lab - history, legalistic nomenclatural investigations and of course, crabs.

Enough to make the crabman happy.

Posted at 12:53PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 10 May 2007

Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 1 (1995) pdf available

Category : pub

10 May 2007 - the pdf of Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 1 (1995) is now available. [Link]

When the pdfs of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology were created, we did not scan the supplements as these were lengthy and specialised tomes that most specialists would buy since it'd be value for money.

However there had been considerable demand for Supplement No. 1, and Murari P Tapaswi and colleagues at the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India offered to make a quick scan of the documents and return us the pdf. We gratefully accepted, of course.

A few days ago, thanks to an email request from Tay Mei Lin (a grad student at the School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Swee Hee and I were prompted to dig out that pdf and post it online. Although the black and white images did not scan well, the text and line drawings in the 5.8MB pdf are excellent and will be useful to researchers.

So here it is: Wee, D.P.C. & P. K. L. Ng. 1995. Swimming crabs of the genera Charybdis De Haan, 1833, and Thalamita Latreille, 1829 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Portunidae) from Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 1. Pp. 1-128

What do the crabs look like?

For the non-crabby people, here's a peek at the two genera, courtesy of Joelle Lai whom I pried away from a barbeque to send over two photos by C. W. Lin (Chan Tin Yam's nominee from National Taiwan Ocean University, ROC). These were taken during the Panglao expedition that Joelle sailed with - she certainly picked out some lovely examples!


Charybdis miles


Thalamita spinimana

Posted at 12:18PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 10 May 2007

"Birds: Masters of flight" brochure

Category : pub

07 May 07 - Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research is pleased to announce the guidesheet, "Birds: Masters of Flight".

Splashed across two pages in full colour, this is the third of 10 guidesheets that will feature the natural history of Singapore. This project is supported by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.

See the Exxonmobil-Raffles Museum "Natural History of Singapore" brochures webpage.

Posted at 6:36AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,