26 January 2011

Monkeying in the Mangroves with Mega Marine Survey

Unlike humans, monkeys can walk quite easily over soft mud!
This is one of the observations I made at today's Mega Marine Survey at Admiralty Park, Sungei Cina mangroves.

Today, while the Mega Marine Survey team was hard at work, a troop of Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) were also hard at work foraging in the mangrove forest.
Besides gliding over soft mud, monkeys also easily negotiate tricky mangrove roots.
Alas, the monkeys are foraging among the trash. It's probably natural for monkeys to check out the high tide line for edible bits that have washed up. They've probably been doing it for as long as there have been monkeys. Sadly, in recent times, the tide line also has plastic trash that have washed up on the shore from the sea. The monkeys are very dexterous and open up plastic bags, rip up packages and one was even seen to 'wash' a coconut in the stream.
Another monkey foraging and eating from the trash line.
One of the monkey ran up a tree with a bottle. And proceeded to bite through it to get to the contents. Alas, many discarded bottles contain toxic stuff like turpentine or other liquids people keep in bottles. Or the contents may have turned bad. Fortunately the monkey did not drink whatever was inside.
Here's a videoclip of the monkeys foraging among the litter.
There were a lot a lot of Belitong snails (Terebralia sulcata) on the trees.
Under the mangrove tree leaves, were rows and rows of these tiny white moths.
On the legs of the bridge, there were tiny mangrove anemones with spots. James has much better photos of a similar sea anemone that he saw in the mangroves of Seletar.
For me, one of the highlights of the mangrove at Admiralty Park are the curtains of Mangrove wax plants (Hoya sp.) draped on different kinds of trees. One patch was about to bloom. From the flower buds, it seems to be Hoya verticillata.
Another special tree that Raem shared with me today. It's Intsia bijuga which I've never seen before! The mangroves of Admiralty Park sure are special!
I blindly fired off some shots in the rain as we were about to leave. And accidentally got shots of a fruit pod!
As we finished the Survey, the monkeys also seemed to done with their foraging. Some were perched on trees, where it was easy to observe them from the bridge.
This pair of monkeys were having a quiet grooming session. It's so nice to have a friend take care of your fleas and ticks and other nasty bits in places you can't reach.
I've had earlier pleasant encounters with monkeys at Admiralty Park in Dec 10 and Jun 09. More also about the Admiralty Park in an earlier post. There are guided walks at this Park too! The next one is Roots, Shoots and Fruits! on 5 Feb (Sat).

It was another exciting trip with the Mega Marine team. More about the Survey on the Mega Marine Survey blog.

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