Friday, July 08, 2011

Singapore Connections V - a further flier

Yesterday's flying dragon was one of 3 gliding tetrapods I was hoping to see in Singapore - I got 2 but missed out on Paradise Tree Snake (although I do have something similar for you). To see the remaining glider I had to go to Singapore Zoo. These animals aren't inmates there but live in the forest around the zoo so by keeping your eyes on the trees you can sometimes pick one out in the zoo enclosures and after some seriously hard searching that's what I did. After spotting it I pointed out to a couple of passing photographers (no-one else had any idea it was there (and why would they?)). So this ended up happening....


Can you see what it is? How about now?


It's a colugo or flying lemur (although it's not actually a lemur and it glides not flies). This is a properly chunky mammal - maybe 18 inches long and it spends its days hanging on tree trunks being camouflaged. At night when it moves though it can spread a membrane between its front and back legs and glide beautifully for up to 230 feet.


These little guys are herbivores and are the closest non-primates to primates. Their reproduction however is very primitive, they give birth to underdeveloped young which nurse externally for 6 months.


Check out the membranes between her fingers and the speckled camouflage. This girl would have been  impossible to see if I hadn't looked straight at her. You can see her eyes are open. I think the commotion aongst the zoo visitors disturbed her a bit but soon enough everyone went on their way and she was able to get back to kippage.

No comments: