Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rain Tree flower, Fan worm, any link?

During my FYP, i have learned how to identify a Rain tree (Samanea saman) and Angsana tree (Pterocarpus indicus) from my friend's project. They are the common big trees that are planted on the streets of Singapore which provide shades from the hot blazing sun. What caught my attention is the flower of the Rain tree.

The flower of Rain tree is pink and white bicoloured with powder brush-like feature. Bright attractive flowers usually attract insects for pollination.
On the first look, it looks like some marine worms i saw before.

Look like Fan worm or Tube worm?! The brush-like or feathery-like features are actually modified tentacles called radiole. They live in long tube which are usually hidden, sometimes underground. Their tentacles have eye spots which allows them to slip inside their tube when there's danger.

Are the any evolutionary relationship between them? I guess nope! Since both features are used for different purposes. Maybe the more you look at it, they don't actually look the same after all..!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jatropha curcas

Finally my FYP has come to an end. I shall give a short introduction of the plant I have been worked on for the past four months.

Jatropha curcas belongs to the family of Euphorbiaceae. It is originated from Central America. Other names given are Physic Nut, Barbados Nut and Purging Nut. It's a hardy shrub that can grow up to a height of three to five metres. Jatropha curcas is monoecious (consist of both male and female reproductive units) and produces male and female flowers in the same inflorescence (a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem). Jatropha's fruits are also toxic and inedible.

So what's so great about this plant? In the past, Jatropha is used to make soaps, candles and used as traditional medicine. Currently, the oil from the seeds of Jatropha is being used as biodiesel. Flight test running on jatropha oil has been successful too. Therefore, it can be used as one of the alternative energy sources, which is sustainable and environmental friendly, in compacting global warming.

Interestingly, a close relative of Jatropha curcas, called Jatropha intergerrima, can be found on streets of Singapore. It has attractive small red flowers. I shall take a photo of it if i find one.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch

I really like to read inspiriting stories.

I could like to share with you this book I'm currently reading, "The Last Lecture".

It was about a university professor, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, knew that he was going to die in a few months. He was thinking about what he can leave for his children and people around him when he was gone. So he came out with a lecture, apparently the last lecture, to share with people about his experience and to inspire people to live.

Just so happen one of my friend posted a link about the lecture video on FB. I'm impressed to see him giving the 'last lecture'. It's almost exactly the same as describe in the book.

I like one of the quote he said, "Never, ever underestimate the importance of having Fun. I'm dying soon and I'm choosing to have fun, today, tomorrow and every other day I have left."

If you are lazy to read the book, you can watch 'the last lecture' at this website

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cryptic Rock Star

I haven't been blogging for a long time. Sorry about that. I guess I shall blog something at least once a month.

Today shall blog on a little seastar I saw on my last trip to Pulau Semakau.

Cryptic Rock Star (Cryptasterina sp.)
Though it has been sighted many times on Semakau, I never seen it once(or maybe i have, but i didn't realise it. Ha.). Cryptic Rock Star is the common name. It belongs to the phylum of Echinodermata and family of Asternidae. Its species is hard to differentiate just by visual looking. It usually grow up to 3 to 4 cm long. Their arms are not long, almost like pentagon shape. Its colour make it difficult to spot as it camouflages very well among rocks and sands. Its favourite living habitat is under rock (and this is how i found them). It feeds on algae and small animals found on the surface of the rock. Seastars usually fertilize externally by releasing eggs and sperms into the water and produce swimming, bilaterally symmetrical larva. However it seems different for Cryptasterina hystera(read up more).


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vampire Squid..!

Check it out..!

It's always awesome to find out what type of creatures actually living deep down in the ocean.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Octopuses Carry Coconuts

Came along this news on National Geo website saying "Bizarre" Octopuses Carry Coconuts as Instant Shelters"
The video showed the octopus carrying the coconut shell 'walking' around the seabed. What is so special about coconut shell that the octopus chooses it as a shelter? Another camouflaging tools..? The octopus looks really cute in the video.


Monday, December 14, 2009