Venus Drive (COLUGO!) 9/7/10

Wow havent posted in a really long while, wasn’t intending to after my As actually, but today i had an encounter that warrants a post! So this week was bio week, and Abel, Bern and I figured we’d end bioweek with a nice stroll in nature. Decided to go further than Macritchie this time, so we took a bus to Thompson and headed to Venus Drive, a first time for the two of em. whats an adventure without some uncertainty! So we entered the trail and sighted the Venus Drive stream, which iirc is the last natural stream left in Singapore and then we spend a good 20 minutes around the entrance, cos there were so many bugs and spiders A green jumping spider im honestly too lazy to ID 😛 Beady eyes! Some sort of strange fly Horrible photo of a stalk-eyed fly. Now these guys are interesting, the males after maturing, inhale a bubble of air which they pump through their head into their eyes, inflating their eyestalks. during mating season they compete with other males for mating success by comparing the distances between their eyes. The larger the stalks, the more impressive the male. In the case of a draw, they engage in a friendly fighting match where the winner gets to mate Further inside we reached the bridge where I would usually turn right towards Macritchie or the HSBC treetop walk, but today i decided to do something different  and go somewhere I hadn’t gone before (adventure!) and turning left into the Venus Loop. Abel in a natural green tunnel This stump was full of pink mushrooms. Super cute! What i believe is the Variable Sentinel (Orchithemis pulcherrima) A hunter among the leaf litter The most beautiful fly i have ever seen (thus far), its cryptic black and white markings remind me of a zebra, and its eyes are an awesome red and purple! (bio CTs anyone) A grasshopper and a cricket on the same leaf. Can you tell the difference? It was around here when Abel and Bern saw a huge bird that was, according to Abel, “black, and larger than a white-bellied sea eagle”, how mysterious indeed. A chequered lancer i believe Strange fungus, which was quickly ignored when.. Suddenly Abel let out a cry, and we looked at where he was pointing, but we didn’t see anything “No no look right here! its just in front of us!” And then i looked at the tree right in front of us and WHOA COLUGO! And it just sat there. so we spent a good 20 minutes staring at it in awe. Was much bigger than expected, about the length of my arm. The awe that one feels in the presence of a rare and i could say, characteristic megafauna is just undescribable, i can attempt to capture the moment with a camera but its nothing like seeing the real thing yourself up close and personal. It was right next to the path, but it was rather high up so i couldnt get a good shot of its face ): Or its back. Got it from the other side though!

Colugos are commonly known as Flying Lemurs. However, they glide instead of fly, and are not true lemurs.

Like this.

Or this.

And though this is probably what first comes to mind for most people when they hear “flying lemur”, no, not this guy either.

Colugos have membranes of skin that extend between their limbs and give them the ability to glide long distances between trees. They are very much adapted to arboreal life (life in the trees) and have difficulty surviving once stranded on the ground, so they should not in any circumstance be removed from their perches! Colugos are shy, nocturnal, and restricted to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. They’re rather rare in Singapore, and are usually only encountered in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and BTNR!

Then we walked another less than a hundred meters and found ourselves in the backyard of the landed houses nearby. It was like “HEY DOODS THERES A COLUGO IN YOUR BACKYARD” but we didnt actually say it cos we have a few drops of sanity and sensibility left. Wow. what an eventful way to end bioweek. not gonna forget this for sometime. In some ways, I think this has changed me. a little. Yeah. It just made me love nature even more (is that possible!?) Seriously not gonna post anymore after this till after As, lots of stuff happened between the last time I posted and this post that I have yet to show, but if you have me on facebook its all in my albums! Till the after the As, or at least after maybe I encounter something as cool as a COLUGO.


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