Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Private Lives Series

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BOOKS BY THE MUSEUM

Private Lives Series

PRIVATE LIVES: AN EXPOSE OF SINGAPORE’S SHORES (2007)

The seashore environment of Singapore has undergone dramatic changes over the last few decades. However, many species have survived and the ecosystem is still very rich. How do the plants and animals cope with never-ending changes, environmental pressures and severe competition? How do they live, grow, feed, mate, and die? This book is in many ways, an “expose” of their life and times, a sort of “paparazzi’s” perspective of their “private lives”. As much as the habitat fascinates the nature lover with its awe and beauty and beauty, the lives of the denizens of the shores are even more exciting.

PRIVATE LIVES: AN EXPOSE OF SINGAPORE’S MANGROVES (2008)

The mangrove environment of Singapore has changed substantially in the last century. Today, over 90% of this key habitat has been lost. Yet, the remaining parts have shown tremendous resilience in surviving, and in the process, have helped safeguard’ a very important part of Singapore’s biodiversity. Following the style and philosophy of the first book on seashore organisms, we now share with the readers the many strange and interesting tales about the myriad diversity of plants and animals that live in mangroves. We hope to dispel the myth that mangroves are aweful places full of mosquitoes and sticky mud and nothing else. Through education, we hope to influence the next generation of mangrove conservationists! We need to keep whatever we have left!

PRIVATE LIVES: AN EXPOSE OF SINGAPORE’S FRESHWATER (2010)

The freshwater realm in Singapore is surprisingly rich; despite the small size of the island, over a century of human impacts and a host of other problems. While clean drinking water is an important national concern; the streams, swamps, waterways and reservoirs in Singapore nevertheless also contain many native species of plants and animals that represent the original natural heritage of the island. In the third part of this series, the “Private Lives” of the denizens of Singapore’s waterways – both native and non-native, are examined; and the many challenges facing this key ecosystem are discussed.

PRIVATE LIVES: AN EXPOSE OF SINGAPORE’S RAINFOREST (2012)

Being one of the most diverse ecosystem on Plant Earth, the tropical rainforest used to cover most of Singapore. Unfortunately, much of Singapore’s original jungle has been lost to human civilisation. Although small in size, these remnant pockets harbour rich plant and animal life, which, despite two centuries of studies, still hold secrets and surprises that are still being revealed to this very day. Following the style and philosophy of the three earlier books in the “Private Lives” series, we have put together a collection of short stories and anecdotes about the life and times of the various organisms in Singapore’s tropical rainforest. These are accounts of how the have adapted to the environment, about how they interact with each other, and rely on one another to survive. We hope that the reader will be entertained by these fascinating tales of the cast of real-life characters, and become aware of the plight faced by them, and the efforts made to protect the tropical rainforest.

PRIVATE LIVES: AN EXPOSE OF SINGAPORE’S CORAL REEFS (2019)

Coral reefs are naturally endowed with high species richness. Despite impacts from decades of coastal development, Singapore’s coral reefs persist as a sanctuary for many species. Perseverance of these reefs makes this natural heritage truly uniquely Singaporean. Coral reefs are interesting not only because they harbour a great variety of species, but also in the way that reef organisms interact through competition or cooperation. The habitat is visually spectacular because of the numerous colourful inhabitants. Many of these are well-camouflaged or extremely shy, and can be easily missed even with repeated visits to the same reef. The various biological processes operating in the reef system also offer many remarkable insights of habitat functions. Through field observations and research, much more is known of our reefs over the past several decades. Yet there is much more to discover. This book provides some aspects of the private lives of reef organisms and illustrates the significance of Singapore’s coral reefs.

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