Dragons on the beach

There’s not an awful lot to say about Komodo dragons, other than the fact that they are a huge lizard – the biggest in the world – and give us an indication of the reptilian megafauna that once stalked the earth. They are not creatures I think anyone could find attractive. Respect, admiration and awe,…

Just like us!

When I was in Bali (Indonesia) recently, like many tourists, I visited the Ubud Monkey Forest; also called the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. This relatively small (10 ha) site, as the name suggests, is famous for its monkeys. Officially known as Crab-eating macaques (Macaca fascicularis), these monkeys are also called long-tailed macaques or locally, Balinese long-tailed monkeys. The monkeys are…

Black bill

Great-billed kingfisher is a Sulawesi endemic. Also called Black-billed Kingfisher, or Celebes Stork-billed Kingfisher, this kingfisher is only found on Sulawesi, Banggai, Sula and other nearby islands of Indonesia. There are considered to be three subspecies:  Pelargopsis melanorhyncha melanorhyncha,  P. m. dichrorhyncha and  P. m. eutreptorhynchma. All of these photos are of birds seen in the mangroves near Tangkoko National Park, North…

Selamatkan Yaki! (Save the yakis!)

Black Crested Macaques or Sulawesi Black Macaques (Macaca nigra) are only found in northeastern Sulawesi (and on a couple of adjacent islands) in Indonesia, and are critically endangered as a result of both habitat loss and hunting for bush meat.  Unfortunatley for them, they are considered a delicay in this part of Sulawesi (Minahasa) so have…

You are so nice, I could eat you!

I came across this huge spider on Bunaken Island, in northern Sulawesi.  The body must have been about 4 cm long and the legs spanned at least 15 cm, maybe more. It is a golden silk orb-weaving spider (genus Nephila) – also called giant wood spiders – which construct large webs to trap their prey. typically flying…