Monday, May 28, 2012

Singapore’s Sea Cucumbers: A Dichotomous Key

The last weekend has been especially exciting because of the inaugural Festival of Biodiversity organised by the National Parks Board.

For this festival, the South-east Asian Biodiversity Society set up a booth together with Lewin Education in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. There was a continuous flow of kids who love designing the free photo frames being distributed. We also took the opportunity to educate on-lookers about what we actually do. Being a young society, every single person we reach out to is important.


I was tasked to design a poster on a mini-project which I have been planning to do for awhile; identifying our local nameless sea cucumbers. The purpose of this poster is to basically let people know how I derive the identity of each sea cucumber, right down to their family level by using a simple Yes/No dichotomous key.

Sea Cucumber 2012

The key was generated based on my current knowledge of the families and species of sea cucumbers in Singapore. Note that the pictures of spicules are not unique to all species within the family as there are some that do not possess the spicule designs. I will not be surprised if one or two more families are added next time; upon which I might update the poster again.

But for now, everyone is free to download this poster free at the Downloads page at the horizontal navigation bar. For anyone who requires a higher resolution file for printing at A2/A1 size, please email me separately to request.

Many thanks to Ria, Lewin Education, and Carmen for contributing their valuable photographs, sponsoring the printing for the exhibition, as well as helping to design the poster respectively.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New theme for Urban Forest

This must be the 4th time that I changed my blogger template. I can’t remember how long the former one had stayed till I removed it an hour ago (below). It must have been several years! While I am excited to have a nice new layout, I am also starting to miss my former one already .


I have stayed in Blogspot faithfully despite the emergence of the newer and more popular Wordpress because of the limitations of the latter. While it is aesthetically superior with more templates, one will have to foot a sum to customise the html. Advertisements also appear after my posts when I am viewing the Total Vascular Flora Blog – another blog which I am contributing to – on my IPad.

In comparison, Blogspot has always allowed users who are more tech-savvy to play with its html. Unfortunately, with my fragmented knowledge, my former layout was probably the most that I could have managed.

With the new Blogspot design, it allows more customisation of the theme by using WYSIWYG. That being said, it cannot tweak every single item in the theme, and that is where some little bit of html editing will make a big difference. And with that, I have been working hard last night to get my new layout ready for today.


I set the width of the posting much longer to allow larger photos to be uploaded. Hopefully this will appeal to people more since ‘’a picture says a thousand words'”! If you think the picture above of the Yellow Flame flowers looks familiar; it is, because that is used for my new blog banner. :)

So, please look forward to more nature postings as I strive to deliver them in higher quality. Also anticipate better resources from here as I will expand my navigation bar pages to include more things.

Thanks for the support!

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