Thursday, January 07, 2010

Flying Dragons at NUS

When Marcus saw me with my camera hooked to my belt as we were going for lunch yesterday, he asked me why I brought it along and jokingly commented that it was so "tong tong hi" (too hard to translate, but those who understand teochew will know what it means...).

And I told him that you won't know what interesting organisms you might see on the way to lunch.

And little did I know that it turned out to be true, and we spotted this female Common Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus, formerly confused with Draco volans)!

Common Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus)
It was just there, flattened itself against the tree trunk. Flying dragons, also known as gliding lizards, have a flap of skin extending from each side of their bodies, supported by their long ribs. They are able to glide from place to place by spreading out its ribs (somewhat like opening a folding fan) to form a gliding surface.

Then all of a suddenly, it ran higher. I initially thought that it was because of me, until I saw another one!

Common Flying Dragons (Draco sumatranus)
There was a male flying dragon just higher up the tree trunk!

Common Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus)
On seeing the female, the male, which has a bluish head, suddenly turned and face upwards.

Common Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus)
It then started extending its large yellow throat flap - a courtship behaviour!

Common Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus)
Here's a closer look at the flying dragon's head upper body with the throat flap extended.

From, now on, I think I'm going to bring my camera along whenever I go out for lunch... :P


Shirls said...

I agree. It is very important to carry the "tong tong hee" around.

Happy New Year Ron!

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Haha... Here's wishing you a very Happy New Year too!

Anonymous said...

I agree too. You may leave home without 'it', but never leave home without your Digi!
Thanks, Ron, never seen a female flying dragon, let alone a courting pair !!