Sunday, January 23, 2011

Solar-powered slug from Semakau

Semakau never fails to surprise. This time round, I got to help YK map out the different habitats of the landfill island for Project Semakau, and got to explore the other side of the North-west intertidal for the first time. Highlight of the trip: this amazing Plakobranchus ocellatus. (Thanks to Ron for the ID).

It looked like a drab piece of slime on the sandy-muddy area transiting between coral rubble and coral reef. But upon closer examination, it really is a slug, with some really gorgeous blue dots.

Look at that blue... This species has been spotted on the island before, and is listed on Semakau's mollusc list recently published in NIS. The Sea Slug Forum shows a whole array of colour variations of this species (which may very well be more than one species). The site also reports that this saccoglossan "stores huge numbers of bright green chloroplasts in ridges hidden from view beneath the parapodial flaps". It is hypothesized that the chloroplasts are deliberately shaded from the bright tropical sun as most chloroplasts have an optimal light intensity at which they photosynthesise and "can be burnt out if exposed to too much light".

Cool stuff. Should have opened the flaps. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

In my backyard

Second foray into the grassland behind my house - which used to have so many nice mature trees till the developers cut it all down to grow cowgrass for sale. sigh. Only just started exploring it after so many years of living here...

super blur but quite artistic pose (to me) of a long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach)
Leafhopper (Bythoscopus ferrugineus)
accidentally underexposed the second shot but came out so nice! :)
Tawny coster (Acraea violae)
Apparently first observed in Singapore in 2006. Read about its journey from India to SG here.
Female blue pansy (Junonia orithya)
Male striped albatross (Appias libythea olferna)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sengkang Forest

Reviving this blog, just to keep track of the stuff i've been seeing/learning. Critters seen in Sengkang forest the saturday that just passed. yet another unexplored area shared by sy.

Common Palm Dart (Telicota colon stinga)
A skipper recently re-instated to the Singapore butterfly list. As can be seen in this photo, skippers adopt unique basking postures: with the forewings open halfway and hindwings open fully.
Unknown moth
Kept thinking my photo was blur but it's just an effect of the moth scales.
Ricaniid planthopper (Ricanula stigmatica)
Cricket (Nisitrus vittatus)
Mini-watermelon! According to sy, Gymnopetalum sp.
more! :)
same plant with apparently ripened 'watermelons' - looking totally different

See Sy's blog for more of the plants seen.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bye bye bluefin...

Saw this comic on ConservationBytes blog and felt it apt to post given the recent news on the failed bid on the international trade ban of bluefin. a pretty optimistic view of the issue has been posted on Grist. I quote:
"Thursday's vote puts the fate of Atlantic bluefin tuna back in the hands of International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas , the very body that drove the species to the disastrous state it is now in, but also the body that rebuilt North Atlantic swordfish to a sustainable level in less than 10 years, ahead of the rebuilding deadline. Also, remember: it is the consumer in the global market economy who has turned the bluefin into a prestige product -- and thus given fisherman an overwhelming incentive to overfish it."
Although, the skeptic in me wonders if it's possible for Japanese (or Asians for that matter) to ever decrease their consumption of the fish. will be more hopeful if there's a proper response to the dolphin slaughtering highlighted by the cove. let's wait and see..

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Food Inc

"... the cows, who were taken from their mothers just days after their birth... are fed Bovine Growth Hormones so that milk production is dramatically increased... They develop huge udders that bluge, bloated and uncomfortable... Often udders and teats become infected, but there is often no time on these factory farms to deal with such minor (though very painful) ailments. The.. antibiotics in the animal feed is supposed to deal with things like that. These infections transmit pus, or dead bacteria, and white blood cells into milk, causing a disagreeable taste and unpleasant colour. Factory dairies sometimes mix the milk from infected udders with normal milk, so the infected milk with its offensive flavour and colour is diluted."
- Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Dr Jane Goodall

Thanks to Pink who lent me Harvest for Hope, I drank my milk this morning thinking whether it has how much pus it contained. then J informed me that Food Inc (movie poster above) was coming to Singapore soon. *sweet*..  Any free movie screenings coming up? seems to be the only way to get non-believers to watch this show - same thing happened for Sharkwater, though buying the DVD as a present works well too. heh. Watch the movie trailer for Food Inc here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cosmetics List

Started gg around hunting for organic, SLS/paraben/petrochemical free stuff after Green Drinks opened my eyes to the 101 things in our daily bodywashes/shampoos/toothpastes/deodorants tt could be harmful to our body - might as well just use water. Anyway, am quite impressed by myself. Didn't think I'd bother.. :) here's my list of brands so far:
The first three I saw at the Watson's near Bedok bus interchange. The last one more common, can be found at NTUC and some kuchingkurau Ang Mo Kio shop (cheap too! $12 for a big bottle). After googling for these brands, found out that there are another two brands apparently sold in Singapore: Trilogy and Lavera. But haven't seen them for myself.

Still looking out for my aluminium-free deodorant...