21 May 2012

Meet Ms Soctopus and friends at the Festival of Biodiversity!

We are all ready for the kids at the Festival of Biodiversity!
These cute marine  mascots will be worn by the volunteers at the Marine Exhibition. They will help us introduce everyone to our marine life. Let us guide you through our wonderful marine ecosystems, play interesting games and see and touch some real marine life!

Here's more about these mascots, and a bit about how they were created.

With zero funding, the marine volunteers get creative! Daiso to the rescue, these critters were wrestled out of socks and gloves! With the aid of needle and thread, some stuffing, and recycling cardboard bits, it's amazing what emerges! Here's some members of Phylum Mollusca, which include not just snails and clams, but also the octopus, squid, nudibranchs and more!
Ms Soctopus is made out of two pairs of socks. (Woolly socks are more forgiving of poor needlework!). Add a bit of wire so her arms can be posed. She turns out to be a hexapus, instead of an octopus, because there's only enough sock to make 6 instead of 8 arms!
Mr Soctong the cephalopod is made out of half a sock (his body) and one of a pair of gloves (his arms). A bit of cardboard helps create the 'correct' body shape.
Baby snails are made out of baby mittens! A circular base creates the correct shape for the foot of the snail.
A larger snail is made out of half a glove and half a sock.
Worms are also fun! So are sea anemones and other cnidarians!
The polychaete worm or bristleworm is the easiest thing to make out of a pair of socks with toes!
Don't waste the top half, it becomes the shell of a fuzzy orange sock hermit crab made out of one fuzzy child's glove.
To get the animals just right, it's useful to refer to photos of the real thing...
Very hairy hermit crab (Dardanus lagopodes)
Here's some of the crustaceans that emerged out of socks and gloves.
Sock crabs are easy to make out of a pair of child's gloves, and one sock!
The Sock lobster is a little challenging, but comes to life from a pair of socks and a pair of gloves.
Here's how we can get the pincers and feet for the lobster!
The aim was to create the mud lobster!
Mudlobster (Thalassina sp.)
Also, lots of Phylum Echinodermata, which includes sea stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, brittle stars, feather stars, sea cucumbers and more!!
The fuzzy sock star is easily mangled out of an adult fuzzy glove. The bottom half of the glove became the body of a pair of tubeworms!
It sure does look like the Red scaly sea star!
Red scaly sea star (Nepanthia sp.)
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng
There was even an attempt to make some vertebrates! Here's dugong, sea turtle, sea snake and fishes!
The key ingredient to this effort are EYEBALLS! These cute eyes simply bring the animals to life! Thanks to Chay Hoon for patiently making countless eyeballs!
See these animals at the Marine Exhibition at the Festival of Biodiversity! The exhibition will feature Singapore's amazing marine ecosystems, from mysterious mangroves to lush seagrass meadows, amazing reefs to strange sandy shores. Volunteers guide you through the exhibits with lots of stories. Check out live seagrasses, and learn more about our shores through interesting games and puzzles. Try out the amazing colouring sheet of Singapore's awesome shores! Find out how you CAN make a difference for our shores!

Dates: 26 May (Sat) and 27 May (Sun)
Venue: Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens location map
Website and contact: http://festivalofbiodiversitysingapore.wordpress.com/


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