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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

News about NUS' Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore - Archives

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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.

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