The colours in life

Written by: Benedict Tham and Dexter Lim “I am finding my wings so I can fly, and soon I’d be on my way.” Are you? If you think life is dull and boring, think again.  Jointly presented to you by Science Centre Singapore and Butterfly Park Sentosa Singapore, ‘Butterflies Up-close’ boasts over sixteen different species…

An InTREEguing Walk

Keen to stretch your legs and explore nature for a change? Want to take a look at some critters up close? Then check out Science Centre’s Intreeguing Walk occurring this Saturday, 5 May 2018! Perfect for anyone wishing to enjoy a guided stroll through nature while learning about the surrounding life. Registration closes on 28 Apr…

Flamazing balancing skills

When you think of the crimson pink Flamingos, the first thing that comes into your mind must be their one-legged perch! Amazingly, Flamingos stand on one leg to have half of their body rested while the other half active, and they swap legs when the side of their body is well-rested. In fact, more muscles…

Are you kidding me right meow?

Nine lives – Are you kidding me right meow? Are you a cat purr-son? If you are, the myth about cats having nine lives should be familiar to you. Science has proven that these furry felines do not have nine lives – in fact they only live one noble life. How did this myth come…

Discovering the Butterflies of Singapore

On 12 Aug 17, Science Centre Singapore and Nature Society Singapore organised a nature talk “Discovering the Butterflies of Singapore” at Science Centre Singapore, delivered by Dr Anuj Jain, Former Chairman, Butterfly & Insect Group, Nature Society Singapore. Dr Jain shared his knowledge about butterflies and the rich diversity in Singapore, both in the parks…

Nature Calls Again!

By Merlynna I didn’t know much about Palms until I had attended Nature Calls Again! – which was not as you’d imagine – a trip to the ladies, but the guidebook launch of Science Centre Singapore’s latest publication –“A Guide to Exotic Palms of Singapore”. 😉 Nature Calls Again! proved to be a highly engaging event…

Temasek Snail – A revisit

About two years ago, we launched a guidebook “A Guide to Snails and other Non-marine Molluscs of Singapore” to help enthusiasts find and identify snails and non-marine molluscs that can be found in Singapore, and to increase awareness and interest in the biology, ecology and shell forms of these molluscs. The front cover picture of…

Where were you half a billion years ago?

Insects are everywhere and, as far as we humans are concerned, they always have been and always will be. We, as a species, have been around for about 200,000 years. The first members of the primates – the taxonomic order we belong to – emerged around 80 million years ago. And the first vertebrates to leave the sea…

Nature’s Call!

Fifty-four of us answered Nature’s Call, taking to MacRitchie in the not-so early morning hours of Saturday, 27 Sep 2014! It was welcome respite from our concrete jungle and a much anticipated adventure, which was fully subscribed within 24 hours of its communication to public! The MacRitchie Trail formed the second and final part of…

August Observation @ Ecogarden, Science Centre Singapore

I was inspired by a post on Facebook to make my way down to our Science Centre Ecogarden after a heavy rain one Friday (22 August) to see what insects I might spot. It was in the evening just before 6pm and I headed straight to a row of potted plants right in front of…

On a Fast Fade – Lyssa Zampa sightings

It appears that sightings of the tropical swallow tail moth have nearly petered out. Flying in to all corners of the North, South, East and West, our large, velvety brown friends earlier made quite the splash in significant numbers outside of their usual cyclical appearance (May to August). But it now looks like the glitzy…

The botak Lyssa zampa

Almost three years ago, I blogged about Lyssa zampa, the tropical swallowtail moth. I had forgotten about this post, until we suddenly started getting a flurry of comments in the last few days, reporting sightings from all over Singapore. Obviously, 2014 is a bumper season for this impressive lepidopteran, and it seems unnecessary to add…

Crab-tivating!

By Ng Mei Bao who is a Senior Science Educator at Science Centre Singapore. Feeling crabby? Watch this video and it may make your day better! Post by Science It. Wasn’t it mesmerising to watch that little critter eating in such a relaxed manner? Pinching off pieces of food with its claws and daintily bringing it…

Fossil fish discovered in SCS staircase

Walking up and down the stairs instead of taking the lift is good exercise, and I am a frequent user of the staircase at the Science Centre. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that one of the tiles on those very stairs had a fossil fish embedded that I had never noticed before! Judging…

Is it a Black Rustic?

My house seems to be a magnet for insects. Beetles, praying mantises, moths, dragonflies. This is on top of the usual ones that you might find. The latest was a black moth sighted on a pipe on the night of 22 January. It might look a bit like a cockroach from far because of the…

Furry Worry

By Ng Mei Bao who is a Senior Science Educator at Science Centre Singapore. A very interesting find outside a friend’s house led to this search and discovery of a seemingly common animal in Singapore, yet many of us have barely had the chance to catch a glimpse of this beautiful creature in action. Featured here…

How long can an Aedes egg survive for under dry conditions?

This question caught my attention in a Facebook contest post by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. There was also an enticing hint to get the answers from “The Silent War” YouTube video clip to find out the answer. So, the curious me clicked on the link and off I went, to view a…

Interesting sights @ Ecogarden, Science Centre Singapore

Some of us at Science Centre Singapore were recently talking about the sights and observations from our Ecogarden right at the back of the Centre (Yes, we have one beautiful garden!) I thought it appropriate to share what one of our Science Educators, Patrick, shared of his evening walk at the Ecogarden yesterday. “Crackling symphony”…

Ever seen a cow eye dissection?

I recently watched an interesting video by the Exploratorium. Rose, one of their explainers (people who explain science to their visitors) was dissecting a cow eye. She explained that as the cow eyeball is similar to that of the human eyeball, the dissection will help to explain how our eye works. I thought it was…

Beauty of local butterflies – Have you taken a closer look before?

Late last month, one of our “Science It” Facebook page posts  (the colouring activity based on the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly) attracted some comments in a Facebook butterfly interest group. We are heartened by the responses and noted the feedback by our local community to also showcase some local species of butterflies. We…

Mosquitoes and Dengue in Singapore

Last week, Radio 938Live asked me for an interview on mosquitoes and dengue. The interview that went on air was of course much shorter than the chat I’d had with the radio man, so here’s a more extensive Q&A: Does the weather have to do with the increase in mosquito numbers in Singapore? The weather…

A little bit of chicky-ness

Do you know that there is a live animal exhibits in the Science Centre Singapore? I always enjoy peeking at the little animals when I pass by the area, and check on what they were doing. From mice to gerbils to hedgehogs, they never fail to amuse me, even when they were asleep.    …

Crikey… What a little beauty!

Isn’t she lovely Isn’t she wonderful Isn’t she precious Less than 150 minutes old… Okay, so that last line of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t she lovely’ song I made up.. but hey, our Atlas Moth is out! What a little beauty! And it all happened… six days into our little ‘big brother’ experiment of training a…

The return of the greens!

Nature is truly amazing. About eleven days ago when I first checked out the atlas caterpillars (or the remaining of those which had not morphed into cocoons), the Camphor tree which was the host tree was nearly bare. You can check the picture in Danny’s blog earlier. After our weekly department meeting today, we checked…

Today’s Discovery – Shake it, pupa, shake it!

I like to make discoveries – making an observation and figuring out something I didn’t know before. Quite often, this happens in our Ecogarden. Like today, when I checked on the Atlas Moth pupae that have caused quite a stir among some of our staff here at the Science Centre. All those remaining caterpillars still roaming…

Spotting a Cocoon Retreat

I returned to work after a two-day hiatus, and was greeted with an exciting buzz over cocoon couture in our Ecogarden! Well I’ll be! This workplace continues to throw up surprises! Insect enthusiast and science educator, Li Hui filled me in on the details… Over the last few days, a mini truckload of Atlas Moth caterpillars…

How small can you get?

We are generally quite good at imagining what it might be like to be another person. We seem to think that we can imagine what it is like to be a dog, or a cat, or a hamster. We are probably pushing the limits when we try to imagine what a bee might experience in…

Ants and their pheromones (Part 2)

Recently I blogged about my observation of ants’ behaviours when sprayed by a homemade ant repellent solution of vinegar and water. You can read the last blog here. The solution has been useful for me at home, so I have more or less been diligently using it. Apparently, it works best (at repelling the ants)…

Ants and their pheromones (Part 1)

Ants infestation is sometimes a problem in my house. I am sure many of you are nodding in agreement. If you can live with it, great. Normally I don’t really mind them crawling around under the dish drainer or towards the rubbish bin which we will dispose of by the end of the day. What I…

A revisit of the caterpillar

You might have read our blog posts sometimes in July about this caterpillar that appeared in our office. 1. I spy with my little eye… 2. Nature is everywhere indeed! Or you might have just seen the picture or video post on our “Science It” Facebook page. In the composition picture above, we showed the…

S-s-s-something smells off

This morning’s been interesting… I got to my workspace and found a poster, my design colleague had placed on my keyboard. It read: ‘Work hard and be nice to people, except children – they whine too much. Not sure why she chose to give me that on her last day at work but it’s a…

Caught Red-handed!

Marine tank in Science Centre’s Snails Mini-Exhibition One by one, our giant clams were ravaged. And no one knew why. I was told it was due to the warm water temperature in our tanks, which was probably true-in part. However, even after the installation of a second-hand chiller, which kept the water temperature low, the…

I spy with my little eye…

I spy with my little eye… something beginning with the letter ‘C’… s0mething green… something that looks like it has folds in its skin, much like a bunched up sock… something that has its wriggly moments – opting at times to inch along animatedly and at other times, lying perfectly still. Can you guess what it is? Why yes,…

Nature is everywhere indeed!

How true it is to say that Nature is everywhere. This morning, it appeared in the form of a caterpillar on my colleague Danny’s desk, apparently dropped from a plant pot. Amused by the unusual find, we spent a while observing its action. While it seemed to be moving quite a bit initially, it totally…

Nature is everywhere

I had an intriguing five minutes this morning. Like every morning, I was washing the dishes after breakfast when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a movement on the kitchen wall above the sink. Expecting the usual ant or small moth or fly, I had a closer look, but couldn’t find anything….

What can I do?

Guest post by Kate Tan , member of a Community Problem Solving group named “Project Wish” and member of the Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists. This is a re-post of her original blog here. When I tell people that I am part of a group whose mission is to raise awareness of the…

Snails – A salty memory?

Recently, I posted a photo of the underside of a snail which was crawling vertically up a tank on our Science Communication Facebook page “Science It“. When I shared the photo with my friends, there were several responses. One said he used to be crazy over snails during his Primary School days, and even kept…

Hippo Aggression!

The topic and timing of this contribution is probably a little odd, particularly since it’s on the eve of New Year’s Eve, but maybe the fierce nature of this topic suits the lead-up to the year ahead as we usher in the Year of the Dragon! Moving right along, I’ve made it a religious habit…

The broken wing

I am a big fan of anything that creeps or crawls. I spent a few years training and watching ants and honey bees, so obviously I like those. But I also enjoy picking up beetles, or play with spiders. When a fly or moth is trapped behind a window, I will show them the way…

Scientists identify first ever Spinosaur in Australia!

Guest Post by Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich, who delivered two intriguing talks entitled ‘Dinos in Mukluks’ on 21 and 22 October at Science Centre Singapore. The following is extracted from “First Spinosaurid dinosaur from Australia and the cosmopolitanism of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas”. In 2005, a team of palaeontologists led by Michael Cleeland and George Caspar, discovered…

Bovine Dinosaurs?

Every time I walk past the Science Centre’s loading bay these days, I am reminded of my childhood in Switzerland. That’s because the sounds I hear are very similar to those you hear when walking past a cow shed full of Swiss Browns waiting to be milked. We don’t keep cows in our loading bay,…

Dragonflies of our Parks and Gardens

I found myself grinning when I was handed a copy of Dragonflies of our Parks and Gardens for the express purpose of writing a book review. What was not to like about it? It felt sleek even at 110 pages and the lush green covers exuded a cool, soothing feel. And if that weren’t enough,…

Lock on Target | Homing Instinct of Snails

Many moons ago, when I was just a little rugrat, I accompanied mum and dad to a local shopping centre—Plaza Singapura. Thanks to my kiddie instincts, I soon found myself astray and hopelessly lost. It wasn’t until I cried my way to the information counter, and had the empathetic duty staff announce my name on…

Insect Kingdom – A home encounter

When I first moved to my new place in May 2011, my husband and I discovered a tiny resident spider which kept re-appearing at our service yard. We thought it was amusing to have a resident spider and did not think too much about it. Before that, we also had not paid much attention to…

Somebody call Pest Control!

Anything even vaguely ‘Australian’ generally grabs my attention for good cause although honestly, there are occasions when I wish I was less attentive. One such occasion was on Monday evening, when I’d logged off from work at the Science Centre and had made my way home to have dinner. As I was tucking into dinner,…

Have you seen this moth?

Six years ago, Singapore saw an unusually large number of Lyssa zampa – big, gray, swallow-tailed moths – appearing all over the place. Starting then, and every year since, N Sivasothi from the National University of Singapore has been asking his friends and online followers to report any sightings. He is keeping tabs on how the number…

Nature Discovery Trail on 2 April

Guest Post by Patrick Wang Chee Boon, Senior Science Educator, Science Centre Singapore It was a tough struggle trying to wake that cool, wet morning: It was raining in the early hours but luckily I manage to overcome the temptation to head back to bed to snooze as I was more excited to attend the morning’s…

Nature Discovery Trail! | Sights and sounds at Jurong Lake

Guest Post by Chua Sek Chuan, Marine biologist and ecologist With all the deforestation for urban development, fortunately, wooded areas still exist in Singapore. They are scattered throughout the length and breadth of our country and hold a surprising level of wildlife. The area around the Singapore Science Centre including the Chinese and Japanese Gardens…

How not to get eaten by a shark

In our current Planet Shark exhibition there is an entire section on how not to get attacked by a shark. Apart from physical protection such as steel cages and chainmail suits it features a number of chemical repellants, none of which are very effective, apparently. (In one case that’s primarily because the repellant is enclosed…

~Seismic Feelers!~

Do you reckon that animals have a sixth sense? Well some zoologists certainly seem to think so. They believe that certain animal species have an innate ability to sense subsonic waves from an earthquake or tsunami. There are claims about animals displaying erratic behaviour and moving to higher ground in the face of impending danger….