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Plant of the Month
Extraordinary Staghorn Fern
Platycerium ridleyi, also known as Ridley’s Staghorn Fern, was named after the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Sir Henry Nicholas Ridley, who made exceptional contributions to the region’s botany, natural history and economy in the 1880s. Unlike other Platycerium species, Ridley’s Staghorn Fern produces unique upright forked leaves, which resemble a deer’s antlers! Although it is presumably extinct in the wild, local horticulturists are actively growing the Ridley’s Staghorn Fern from horticultural origin as it is a beloved collector’s staghorn fern and for planting in local gardens and parks. Click here to read more!
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Animal of the Month
Green Crested Lizard
The striking Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) is native to Singapore, and was a common sight in the past. However, its recent declines have been attributed to the introduction of the more aggressive Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor), which was first seen in Singapore in the 1980's. The Changeable Lizard is now abundant in managed parks and gardens, while the Green Crested Lizard is seen mostly in primary and secondary forests.
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Did You Know?
Mangrove Horseshoe Crab
Contrary to popular belief, their tail is not used for defence but to help with locomotion and to upright themselves if they have been turned upside down. Horseshoe crabs are mainly scavengers, feeding on worms, bivalves and animal matter. Two species have been recorded from Singapore, this photo shows the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab, and the other one is the Coastal Horseshoe Crab. Both species are listed in the Singapore Red Data book.
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What's Up?
Fauna News
Flora News
Blue Leaves in the Shade
Ever wonder why certain plants display blue iridescence on their leaves when grown in shade? A team of scientists from the University of Bristol has discovered that plants, such as Begonia pavonina have evolved a unique arrangement of the spire-like structure (Thylakoid) in the chloroplasts. Often randomly placed in normal plants, the thylakoids are neatly arranged in Begonia pavonina, this slows down light as it travels through the leaf, and increases the absorption of red and green light for photosynthesis. Blue light is reflected away, giving the leaves a blue colouration to the human eye! Learn more by clicking here
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