03 May 2012

Lizard tongue and lily at Admiralty Park

The monitor lizard has a large thick blue forked tongue!
I also noticed a strange lily, during a slow stroll through Admiralty Park today.

I have read that the Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator) (like the snake) probably uses its tongue to sense its surroundings. Today I noticed this lizard stuck its tongue regularly into the water as it foraged along the high shore at high tide.
It continued to stick its tongue into the water even as it was swimming.
See how the lizard tucks all its limbs against the body when it swims? It undulates its long tail to propel itself along. All the while, sticking out its tongue into the water!
Admiralty has lovely stands of Nipah palm (Nypa fruticans). Some of them were blooming. The female flower is compact and ball-shaped. While the male flowers are long and sausage-like.
There were all kinds of insects buzzing around the fresh yellow male flowers. Lots of bees. From Siyang's paper on our Nipah palms, this is possibly the Asian common honey bee (Apis cerana). Also lots of tiny flying things, probably flies.
I noticed this larger bee among the rest of them. Zestin is doing great work on Singapore's bees. We'll learn a lot more about our bees once his work is published.
There is a lovely old mother Putat Sungei (Baringtonia racemosa) tree. All her flowers have fallen. I must drop by the park at night to see the blooms on the tree. Lots of smaller Putat Sungei trees have been planted in the park, and they too are starting to bloom.
And what's this strange looking lily?
It has a pretty white flower.
I searched the forest for the monkeys that I used to see in the Park. I was most disappointed not to see them in the forest. And even more disheartened to see them instead, along the roadside. They were quite unafraid of vehicles and in fact seemed to approach large buses (quite alarming to watch).
This suggests irresponsible people have been feeding them from the road. This can only come to a sad end for the monkeys. More about why we should not feed monkeys (or any other wild animals).

This is particularly sad because in the past, I saw these Long tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) peacefully foraging in the forest, eating their natural food. Here's some photos from my past encounters with them.
Harvesting natural food in Jun 2009
Leaping among the mangrove trees at Sungei Cina in Mar 2010
Foraging among fallen leaves in Dec 2010
We can only hope for the best, and that people will stop feeding the monkeys.


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