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


Made with Samizdat,
based on PHPosxom,
based on Blosxom.

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

Thu 24 May 2007

International Museum Day (IMD2007) Bus Tours - heartlanders visit!

Category : museums

Wed 23 May 2007 - We look forward to heartlander visits to the museum during the regional bus tour programme organised by Museum Roundtable for the International Museum Day celebrations.

A hardworking team at the National Heritage Board see to an operation that has heartlanders hop onto a bus in Jurong to visit three members of the Museum Roundtable - NUS Museum, Chinese Heritage Centre (NTU) and Raffles Museum [more tours at other museum here.]

Gallery Guides rock!
Interns Danliang and Ruo Yu had been given the thumb's up by Gwynne and thus had been conferred the honour of anchoring the gallery tours. Put through a crash course right up to minutes before participants arrived, they were not tossed into the deep entirely but had the support of experienced RMBR Toddycat guides Oi Yee, Wei Song, Gwynne and Nanthinee.

Nanthinee and the sad story of the death of the last Banded Leaf Monkey in Bukit Timah

They worked in pairs and alone, talked together or separately, facing the crowd or from two directions and their good nature shone through all of that. The heartlander crowd expressed laughter, glee, amazement, sadness and wonder throughout the four sessions.

In the characteristic refrain of IMD head honcho Amy Marlina, "you guys rock!"

Tree-climbing crabs illuminated!
In the spirit of the Linnaean tercentenary, we decided to show off some taxonomic samples. We brought out the very nice cart that I had acquired during the first Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium in 2003. Used for SARS supplies, I had shanghai-ed the cart for its grand unveiling today. Stocked with specimens of tree-climbing crabs and horseshoe crabs, the interns brought them out dripping with alcohol from the bottles for closer inspection to the great fascination of participants!

In order to illustrate the cheliped colour of the different species of the tree-climbing mangrove crab, Episesarma, the interns held up a lamp behind the glass bottles and put on a light show!

This has inspired us to attempt more next year, and we'll lug out a selection of hardy, bigger and more colourful specimens!

Danliang sheds light on the tree-climbing crabs

Eyes of a tiger
The older folk are often a mine of interesting stories themselves. From one of those old-timers last year, Wei Song learnt that when they went durian-picking in old plantations, they'd have to make loud noises to scare off the competition - tigers!!

It's no tall tale - local naturalist Sutari Supari actually had a close shave many years ago in Taman Negara when his orang asli guide hospitably took him on a private trip to eat wild durians. Thinking he was hearing Malaysian air force jets flying overhead, he finally realised the sound's feline origins when he stared in to a pair of yellow orbs - yup, the eyes of a tiger!

Tales of food, sex and gore work again
The exhausted interns reported at the end of four shifts that the stories about food, gore and sex were the most appealing.

The need for explanations in Mandarin required some help from the crowd and where their vocabulary failed, a circuitous explanation worked! Here they are explaining the protruding and split hemipenis of the 4.4 metre King Cobra exhibit. The poor snake was clubbed to death by four golfers at a golf course on 1st June 2002.

Yes, this was a fine way for Raffles Museum to mark the Linnaean tercentenary!

Meanwhile at Uppsala University, "Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko joined celebrations in Sweden on Wednesday marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus, who is known as the father of modern taxonomy." Thanks for the link, Alvin!

Linnaeus tercentenary: Celebrating Linnaeus' 300th birthday - Flickr album - del.icio.us bookmarks.

Tech Tags:

Posted at 1:13AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 24 May 2007

Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium II - webpages, reports and photo albums

Category : meetings

Books at the symposium


Peter Ng & Tommy Koh looking on with satisfaction at
"The Natural Heritage of Singapore, 2nd edition."


Lena Chan, Pår Ahlberger, Anna Maj Hultgård and Peter Ng looking at
"Carl Linnaeus" by Gunnar Broberg.


Tommy Koh, Ng Lang & Lena Chan with
"The Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Singapore."

The symposium announcement was made in Habitatnews and Raffles Museum News on 15 May 2007 but I was actually scooped by Ria Tan on WildSingapore who posted the announcement the previous night!

Reports and albums

  • "Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium II (2007)," by N. Sivasothi. Raffles Museum News, 22 May 2007.
  • Flickr album from BoSS II. Photos by Hwang Wei Song, Airani S. & Cynthia Lee, 22 May 2007.
  • "Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium II - opening remarks," by Marcus Ng (more to come!) The Annotated Budak, 23 May 2007.
  • "Tommy Koh's green mission: Save 2 species." By T. Rajan. The Straits Times, 23 Apr 2007. Top diplomat getting Zoo's help to save monkey and squirrel unique to Singapore.

In a lighter vein

  • "That 15 mins presentation today," by N. Sivasothi. Otterman speaks..., 22 May 2007.
  • "Phew, symposium webpage up!" By N. Sivasothi. Otterman speaks..., 15 May 2007.
  • "Talk at Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium," by Adrian Loo. Lekowala, 22 May 2007.

Symposium webpage

Linnaeus tercentenary: Celebrating Linnaeus' 300th birthday - Flickr album - del.icio.us bookmarks.

Tech Tags:

Posted at 1:11AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,