BioD – Part II

I’ve decided to finally get off my lazy butt and get this post out. ‘Cuz if I wait any longer, the little bit of memory I have regarding this trip might just fly out the window. And oh, there’s the persistent group of people yelling at me to get the post out and I’m scared they might do something if I delay this anymore than I already have. That too. *shudder*

Just kidding. 😛

Ok, so on with the post. Buckle your seat belts and get ready, ‘cuz this is gonna be one long ride. Ready? Ok, then! Let’s go!

After two pretty eventful field trips, we (the gang) were very excited about our last trip to the zoo. We weren’t expecting it to be as interesting as the one at Changi beach, since it was just gonna be a lot of walking around and staring at animals, but since it was our last field trip for the semester, we were all looking forward to having a good time and enjoying ourselves to the maximum.

We got into the buses, and after a nice, long, half an hour ride, came to our destination. Singapore Zoological Gardens. Or, more popularly, ‘The Zoo’.

We entered the zoo and then split up into our respective groups and crowded around our TAs. Since there were so many of us going around the zoo, we decided to take separate routes. So, while some of the groups went around the zoo clockwise (its pretty much a huge, circular area), we decided to go anti-clockwise. Our Practical Manuals had been written with the zoo map in mind, so basically we went about seeing the animals at the end of the manual first, and then proceeding backwards.

So, we all rolled up our sleeves and started out on our long walk. We said hello to the camels, llamas and the komodo dragon (*shudder*, lizards, any kind, freak the hell out of me) and then walked into the polar bear enclosure.

Did you know that polar bears actually have black skin? Yep, they do! And their fur is actually colourless and transparent, not white. Polar bears are not suited for tropical regions, and even though the zoo does all it can to make sure that the environment of the bears is as close to their natural habitat as possible, let’s face it – Singapore will never be able to mimic the Arctic. Animals like these don’t belong to the zoo, but I digress. Back to the topic.

After the polar bears, it was time to pay a visit to our friendly ungulates – the rhinos. Not surprisingly, the batch we saw were rolling around in a pile of poo and horning each other. (Yikes. That did not come out right. :P)

This friendly little rhino decided to give us a nice shot of its rear side, while playing tag with its fellow rhino-mate. How cute.

We then sauntered over to the zebra section, where our TA decided to ask us a very enlightening question.

“Do zebras have black stripes on white skin, or white stripes on black skin?”

My thought bubble: “Um…does it really matter?”

The Black Stripes – the next big rock band…of zebras!

Anyway, for those who do care, zebras have black stripes on white skin. Not that it would make a difference if it was the other way round. Would it?

A little while later, we arrived at the lions enclosure. Just a bunch of them lazing around, lying in the sun, though I don’t blame them in the least. What a boring life they must lead, those poor animals.

This particular lioness didn’t look too happy to be photographed. I believe that is the lion-equivalent of a pissed off look.

Next stop, leopards. Interesting fact to know: leopards and jaguars can actually be differentiated by their coat patterns. Leopards have coats with rosettes (tiny circle-like patterns) without a spot in the centre, whereas jaguars have rosettes with the spots.

Can ya guess which one this is? Cookies for the ones with the right answer! 🙂

We didn’t realize how hot and humid the day had become until we stepped inside an air-conditioned room, which had creepy crawlies in various glass boxes. What a horrid decision to make: stay in the room and be surrounded all around by hissing, crawling, creeping insects that reminded us of Fear Factor (and not in a good way), or go out into the hot sun and start spouting sweat again. After some contemplation, we chose the latter and stepped out of the air-conditioned room, upon which MG and I had the following conversation.

MG: They should make the whole zoo air-conditioned, damn it!

Me: Well, if they did that, in about a 100 years, all the animals would’ve evolved and grown fur. Then we’d have nothing to see but furry animals all around.

MG: Do you think that in a 100 years, Singaporeans will all have evolved fur, given the amount of time they spend in air-conditioned rooms?

Me: Haha! Imagine that! Furry Singaporeans!

And we chuckled our way to the next exhibit. And the laughter died on my lips. We’d come to the freakiest part of the entire zoo. No, not hungry carnivores, or crawling insects or slithering snakes. Worse.

Butterflies. Hundreds and thousands of them. Acting completely out of character and buzzing around as if we weren’t even there! They managed to completely freak me out. A few butterflies fluttering by are ok, hundreds of them swarming around you like they’re about to attack you are not. *eeeks*

This particular butterfly climbed onto a guy’s shirt, and refused to let go. We tried to shoo it, but it wouldn’t budge! I ask you, is that characteristic of butterflies?!? Well, it finally let go, but I bet it was pretty pissed!

Well, after that horrifying event, we proceeded to another part of the zoo, which didn’t make me feel any better. Bats. Yikes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bat-o-phobic, or whatever you call it. I just don’t like them very much. Those long, leathery wings, those scary eyes, and the upside-down hanging thing – it just sorta freaks me out a little.

To make things worse, these little lemurs started hopping onto the platform and dashing around between our legs. I screamed and hopped and made quite a fool of myself trying to avoid them, and gave all my friends a hearty laugh.

Damn them lemurs.

After that, a baboon was nice enough to show us its colourful ass, and let us take a picture of it.

So did a crocodile (or an alligator – I couldn’t really be sure), but I’m not sure you can call that an ‘ass’, really. It’s more of a tail. But a fine one, at that. Magnificent.

After that, it was a quick stroll through the primate areas, where we saw the monkeys, the Hamadryan Baboons and banded mongooses…

Aww…look at that baby monkey! Koochie-woochie poo!!
Give this baboon a pair of spectacles and a newspaper, and he’ll look like Grampa Baboon.
Wouldn’t it be funny if the plural of ‘mongoose’ was ‘mongeese’? 😛

…followed by some baby kangaroos and a white tiger.


White tigers are an inbred and endangered species.

And with that, we were done. We’d made an entire round of the zoo, and it was time for our test (yes, we still had to endure that one torture before being let go of). We sat in a huge circle at the entrance of the zoo (I’m sure many tourists gave us weird looks) and wrote a quick 10-min MCQ test.

And just like that, it was all over. We all stood together for one group photo with our TA, and then we all gathered into our buses and rode back to the university (we made sure not to miss the bus this time around! :P). It was a happy journey, ‘cuz we’d all had an extremely good time and had gotten plenty of information on the various animals (stuff I’ve refrained from mentioning, ‘cuz the scientific aspects of zoo-traveling can get pretty darn boring for non-biology students :P) We came back all brown and happy, and decided that this was the best trip we’d had all semester. What a way to say good-bye to an amazing group of trips, where we’d gained so much knowledge in such fun ways.

I grouched about the subject a lot before the exams, but now that it’s over, I’ve gotta say this. Studying the subject was a great experience and a lot of fun and as much as it shocks me to say this…

I’m gonna miss ya, little fella. 🙂


7 thoughts on “BioD – Part II

  1. Clueless May 3, 2006 / 6:39 pm

    #Sayesha,Heeeeey! Who ya callin’ lazybum? :P//See ya tomorrow, babes!Can’t wait!! 😀

  2. Sayesha May 3, 2006 / 12:48 pm

    Hehehe… finally the lazybum moved her lazy bum! :DSee ya tomorrow, babes!

  3. Clueless May 2, 2006 / 11:51 pm

    #MG,//lets hope i say the same thing when the grades come out!!*all fingers crossed*//*raises eyebrows and smiles* (in the characteristic yahoo messenger way)*rolls eyes* (again in characteristic msg way) :P#Soleil,Ah, it’s just a saying lah! Felt very warmly towards it after writing such a long post on it, and so decided to call it ‘little fella’! But you’re right…not a little fella at all, as far as exams were concerned! :P#The Girl,//Cross between which two species?Ok, this should teach me to verify my facts before I post something. Made a mistake there, so here’s the correction. :PWhite tigers are not hybrids (d’oh!), they’re albino species of tigers with recessive genes, and since they’re very rare, the only way they can survive is if they breed amongst themselves, i.e with other white tigers. That’s why they’re endangered, because there’s not many of them left.And sorry, my bad, they’re inbred, not hybrid. Eeesh! Where is my brain these days?!?//How did that MCQ test go?Not bad, actually. Got an A+. I think. I’m just glad there wasn’t a question on white tigers in that test! 😛

  4. The Girl Who Sold The World May 2, 2006 / 10:50 pm

    At last, it’s out! What cool pics! It’s been eons since I last went to a zoo…hmmm…think I’ll visit one soon. 😛 White tigers are actually a hybrid species.They are? :O Cross between which two species? Singaporeans will all have evolved fur, given the amount of time they spend in air-conditioned roomsHahaha…funny! Imagine Singapore full of furry people. :PHow did that MCQ test go?

  5. soleil May 2, 2006 / 11:41 am

    That post sure brought back zoo memories 🙂 and who are you calling “little fella”? BioD? I’m sure Macho Girl and Bubble Burster will agree with me that BioD is not little at all!!! But besides being “not little”, I agree that it was loads of fun 🙂

  6. Macho Girl May 1, 2006 / 7:52 pm

    FINALLY!!!!!!! The zoo post is out!Yeah, biod was pretty much fun through out the semester (even though I cribbed a lot about it during the exam). It was kinda different from the rest of the modules we had. Pretty satisfactory (lets hope i say the same thing when the grades come out!!).//Aww…look at that baby monkey! Koochie-woochie poo!! *raises eyebrows and smiles* (in the characteristic yahoo messenger way)

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