Friday, June 5, 2009

Chek Jawa III: Spicy Red Ants, Chocolate Truffle Rocks and Spiders of the Same Age.

hahah okay so we have seen all the intertidal inhabitants, now lets look at some land-based organisms!

Oh before that, CH / SONNENBLUME has very kindly helped me identify some of the intertidal organisms like:This is a Garlic-Bread sea cucumber. Sure does look like a loaf of bread HAHA maybe slighty moldy bread. (more info:

and my super cute tiny crab buddy, which ashton enjoyed chasing around:

is a Sand Bubble Crab.. ah yes now i remember. the tiny circular objects around it are the sand bubbles made by the crab. (info:

(look at the comments of the previous post! Thanks CH / SONNENBLUME!!)

okay back to the main topic. Land-based organisms (if you dont like bugs, im sorry):

This super artistic photo is taken by willis (accidentally), this is a female spider. omg she is about the size of my palm! This spider seems to belong to the Golden orb web spider species but im really not that sure. (info:

the web is HUGE, above us:

we later stumble upon the 3D web:

i wonder how long did it take to build that web. and the male spider is TINY.

can you see that tiny red speck on the web? it is really the male spider (i think you should click to enlarge). ashton decided to ask his famous question "Are the Spiders of the same age?". the guide couldnt answer and the rest of us just burst out laughing. we are STILL laughing abt it if you are wondering.

apparently it is the ONLY male spider left on the web.. the female has eaten the rest of the males after mating with them. basic instinct huh.

next, we saw some crickets:

and also this truly magnificent sight of some cotton stainer bugs (info: mating, note how two bugs seemed to be 'connected' at the back:

(photo by Janette Goh)

and this world famous plant, Eurycoma longifolia, commonly known as the Tongkat Ali, an evergreen plant:

we were told that this Tongkat Ali plant was bald a few weeks ago, aparently some joker decided to harvest it for medicinal purpose and thus, cut off the leaves. what he did not know was that the medicinal properties of the plant lies in its roots. Luckily, Mr. Ali managed to regrow (:

Karin and I got very excited when we saw this:

THE ATAPCHEE!!! the very same one you eat in the Ice-Kachang. Another shot here of fallen atapchees, each husk contains exactly ONE precious atapchee:

Ah, how will we live without the Nipah Palm? it gives us the Atapchee and its leaves and stem were utilised for house building in the past. take a good look at it the next time you go to Chek Jawa, Sungei Buloh or Pulau Tekong, for it is considered endangered in Singapore. (info:

We later saw an Oriental Whip Snake (info:, lazy on a tree:

i wish we could have taken better photos of it, but its too high up!

We also saw one of the Oriental Pied Hornbills (which escaped from Jurong Birdpark to Chek Jawa, it was found with a tag!).. ah it is damn tough to photograph a bird, it doesnt stop moving.

this second photo is taken by Janette:

Apparently Hornbills mate for life, and the good people at Chek Jawa attempted to provide the lovebirds with a nice and comfy 'condominium', which was ultimately rejected:

When i was a kid, what i wanted to do was to be a biologist/ecologist. i somehow mixed biology/ecology up with geography and thus, here i am, doing a BA in geography.

But after this trip, i realised how much i like geograhy better. for it is the geographical processes that create the environment for these organisms to thrive in; it is geography (climate, presence of water) that dictates the distribution of these organisms. can you imagine polar bears in the tropics (lets not talk abt the singapore zoo)?

therefore, i suppose this is where CLIMATE CHANGE will come into place.

(okay note: it is NOT GLOBAL WARMING. because some areas in the world will be cooler than it is now... i get annoyed by that term HAHAHAHA)

with Climate Change, the environmental factors will be altered:
- tide levels will rise, thus, extinguishing intertidal habitats and wiping out the mangroves.
- temperature changes will affect the survival of both land and sea based organisms.

i dont want to jump onto the whole Al Gore and IPCC bandwagon (which i think is slightly alarmist in nature). i wld just like to highlight the POSSIBILTY of this happening.

i cant say that by doing our part (such as stop littering and over consuming) we can definitely stop the change. but i believe that by doing so, we can at least slow down the change to allow researchers some time to alleviate the problem.

but anyways, stay TUNED (happy now jiayi and jiangyang?)... ive got more on Chek Jawa!

Love, serene!


  1. Hurray, a fellow Geography major!

    Yes, that is the golden orb web spider.

    And actually, it's more likely that the hornbill population on Pulau Ubin originated from birds that flew over from Johor. Not sure where you got the story about the hornbills flying over from Jurong Bird Park. As far as I know, these hornbills are 100% wild.

  2. haha we heard it from the guide there.. hmm maybe i heard wrongly ahaha i'll double check with my friends. thanks!

    and thanks for reading!

  3. i just had to comment saying that i love the title of this blog. i'm about to take my last geography gcse this week. wish me luck!