Spot the monkeys!

In anticipation to Andie’s monkey talk next saturday at TEDxNUS, here’s a little primer to get you all into monkey-mode!

Thanks to the Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore), Andie does regular fieldtrips up to Panti, Johor to survey the banded leaf-monkeys there as a point of comparison for the Singaporean counterparts. Recently, while looking for the banded leaf monkeys, she came across a whole troupe of dusky leaf monkeys. these are close cousins to the banded leaf monkeys, and much less shy, but oddly, are not found in Singapore.

So aloof to Andie’s presence,  these duskies were going about their daily routine while she began to do her paparazzi. In the picture below are actually TEN dusky leaf monkeys!

dusky leaf monkeys hiding!Can you spot them all? To make things easier for you,
we’ve made a viewer to zoom in and scrutinize the picture here.

 

(If flash doesn’t work for you, click here for the large-res actual photo)

Elusive, aren’t they? Click here to reveal the monkeys!

Andie will have this and more in her talk come next saturday (26 March).

yc

To Penang and back

When a group of 22 people agreed to make a trip to Penang, any person would have been skeptical about the fortune of the organizers and the island of Penang. All be said, Evo Lab has made a safe and sound return to Singapore after a trip to the quaint island. Penang gave us a lot to remember- from sights of the old heritage town, to beautiful nature and to savoury flavours that would whet anyone’s appetite.

Visits to Penang Hill, Botanic Gardens and Penang National Park led to a number of exciting sightings for a biologist. We saw a number of dusky leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus obscurus) and along with their orange colored infants in Penang Hill as well as the botanic gardens (see the last row of images). It was great to see the black giant squirrel in the canopy of Penang Hill. Check out some the photos:

George Town itself gives an entirely different experience to the tourist. Narrow streets, rows of chinese shophouses, and temples, along with colonial architecture gave a sense of the unique heritage of the place. As one of us mentioned, “everywhere you  look, there is a pretty building”.

We certainly did not leave our Singapore identity behind while going to Penang. Food, we enjoyed. We ate a lot. And we talked about it a lot. Laksas, Char kway teow and chendols would make the always-hungry bunch walk through the streets periodically.

The gluttony would lead to exciting bus rides. The entire city bus that was occupied by a single group, would course through beautiful sights of the city that everyone would enjoy except…

Penang trip was refreshing, and a good opportunity for us to spend some time together. What made it even more satisfying was that it turned out cheap , costing less than 200$ for 3 days! Thank you, Prof. Meier, and Denise and anyone who helped organize it. Besides the excitement that it gave us, the trip gave us chance to give a proper farewell to Sujatha (who was well prepared for the paparazzi’s attention), who has been with us for a long long time. Thank you, Sujatha, for everything. We will miss you, and wish you all the very best for the future.

Biodiversity Evening on NUS website

Congratulations to all four presenters for a job well done!

There’s a short write up of the “An Evening Dedicated to Conserving Singapore’s Biodiversity” event on the NUS website! You can access it here. It focuses on the work that Andie has been doing over the past 1.5 years with regards to the banded leaf monkeys.

For those who want to  see a bunch of photos of the excitement, the DBS website has devoted a page to them here.

Thanks a lot to all the honours students who put up their posters for the event! They certainly helped to attract a lot of positive attention.

Guess who’s working on reduviids and other bugs?

Confronted with a reduviid-like bug that Ngan Kee tossed on my table, JC Mendoza, with whom I was having an urgent meeting (I may add) wondered if it could be a triatomine instead of my suggestion. Googling, this familiar mugshot appeared:

Alumni Hwang Wei Song and his partner in crime Zahang Guanyang have taken up residence in Christiane Weirauch’s Heteropteran Systematics Lab at the University of California Riverside. We don’t know yet what it is as we did have to get to work but said specimen will await Wei Song’s attention in future at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.


Stop complaining about the blurry picture y’all, specimen’s in the museum!

Sea wall “construction site” outside Frog lab

Yes, the ruckus this past week is caused by Marine Lab's Lynette Loke's seawall project. Construction materials have been appearing outside the Frog Lab and over time, a mini-seawall factory appeared. Lynette told me another 180 tiles would arrive this evening.

But she has found help – the handy kungfu hands of a botanist no less, have been recruited to do the deadly dead of smashing tiles! How we love to see honours students hard at work – it motivates the rest of us!