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An isolated tropical island in the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island is biogeographically unique and famous for one of the great natural wonders of the world — the migration of millions of Christmas Island Red Crabs at the onset of the wet season. With at least 200 species of animals found only on the island and nowhere else on Earth, its rich biodiversity has attracted naturalists and researchers from around the world, including scientists from Singapore.Christmas Island’s connection to Singapore goes a long way back, with a history of research on Christmas island fauna, such as its charismatic crabs and birds, dating to as early as 1904. More recent museum expeditions have also yielded some interesting findings and new species such as the Blue Crab (Discoplax celeste) and cave crabs (Christmaplax mirabilis and Orcovita spp.).
Christmas Island’s connection to Singapore goes a long way back, with a history of research on Christmas island fauna, such as its charismatic crabs and birds, dating to as early as 1904. More recent museum expeditions have also yielded some interesting findings and new species such as the Blue Crab (Discoplax celeste) and cave crabs (Christmaplax mirabilis and Orcovita spp.).
Come and discover the diverse nature of Christmas Island — from the red and coconut crabs, to frigatebirds and booby birds — and learn about some of the threats it faces from invasive species and other anthropogenic activities.
Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi)
Critically endangered, the Christmas Island Frigatebird nests only on Christmas Island. During mating, males will puff up their ‘throat pouches’ into ‘red balloons’ to impress potential mates.
Christmas Island Red Crab (Gecarcoidea natalis)
At the end of every year, with the onset of the wet season, millions of red crabs emerge out of their burrows and begin their long march to the coast to breed. Once at the coast, the crabs wait it out and spawns during the pre-dawn receding high tide at the last quarter of the moon.
Christmas Island Blue Crab (Discoplax celeste)
Dominating the wetter regions of Christmas Island, the Blue Crab was only recently described as a separate species endemic to the island. Its name alludes to the sky-blue carapace seen in adult crabs.
Coconut Crab (Birgus latro)
The largest land-dwelling arthropod in the world, they are commonly known as coconut crabs. This is probably due to their ability to exploit coconut as a food source, using their powerful claws to break open the hard shell of the coconut fruit.
Marine Life and Cave Features of Christmas Island
13 January 2018, 2pm
Tan Heok Hui – Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Out of the Blue: the Marine Decapod Crustaceans of Christmas Island (REGISTER NOW)
10 February 2018, 2pm
Jose CE Mendoza – Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, NUS
Christmas Island: its History and People and the Aspirations of the Islanders
4 March 2018, 2pm
Tan Seng Chye – S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU
Destination Christmas Island
7 April 2018, 10.30am
Linda Cash – Christmas Island Tourism Association
Christmas Island National Park – where Conservation and Science meet
12 April 2018, 7pm
Samantha Flakus – Christmas Island National Park
The Christmas Island Red Crab Annual Breeding Migration – why, when, where and how
12 May 2018, 2pm
Max Orchard – Christmas Island National Park (retired)
Christmas Island, its Crabs and History
9 June 2018 (2pm)
Peter Ng – Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
A1-sized Posters are available on sale at the museum shop at $4 per poster