All posts tagged: Danum Valley

Orangutan Pongo pymaeus Forest Reserve Sabah Borneo Malaysia

Orangutan – back to the wild

Wow, it really has been a fair while since my last update on the Easter trip to Borneo. A lot has happened in the meantime: I followed the footsteps of my wife and have started running the Perth Hills trails rather seriously, making me stronger, faster and lighter every day. Winter is the best time of the year to pick up outdoor activities as this – mild temperatures and refreshing rains make those lengthy runs bearable while the transformation of nature into one big flowering mass provides a real feast for the eyes. I promise to post some truly spectacular wildflowers photos on iAMsafari very soon as they are not to be missed. Another project that has kept us busy is the purchasing and gearing up of our own Toyota Landcruiser – an investment in hardware indispensable for the discovery of the Australian outback, just tested around the wilderness of Gnaraloo where we have been swimming with Loggerhead turtles in Ningaloo Reef  – so stay tuned for more indeed! Although I really would like to …

Pill millipede Glomeridae Danum Valley Sabah Borneo Malaysia

Life on the Forest Floor # 3 – Recyclers

The enormous amount of plant and animal material on the forest floor is decomposed by fungi and bacteria in what is called saprotrophic nutrition – a process in which decaying matter is absorbed and metabolised on a molecular scale. The bigger bits are left for other recyclers such as worms, flies and millepedes, a group of animals often referred to as detritivores. Especially the millepedes are fascinating, roaming through the delicious rotting matter in search for food. Heavily armoured with dorsal plates, equipped with chemical-secreting glands and able to curl themselves into a tight pinball-like ball, these millepedes are able to bulldoze along relatively undisturbed. We thought that the orange-coloured giant Pill Millepede (Glomeridae) and the Tractor Millepede (Polydesmidae) we encountered in Danum Valley were particularly impressive!

Veiled Lady Phallus indusiatus fungus Danum Valley Sabah Borneo Malaysia

Veiled Lady – 6.6.6 Tessellation

Most colourful and amazing lifeforms in the wet tropics can be seen on the forest floor, however, they often go unnoticed. But if one keeps an eye open for the little things some truly spectacular gems can be found – and this goes for fungi in particular. They play a vital role for the life on our planet, especially in rainforest where their long thread-like hyphae invade and breakdown the tissues of dead wood and leaf litter, producing nutrients for other plants and animals. On a strenuous hike in the pristine Danum Valley we stumbled upon this beautiful Veiled Lady or Long Net Stinkhorn (Phallus indusiatus), a fungus that can be found in tropical regions around the world. Whenever it is ready to reproduce the fruiting body is grown in an effort to attract insects for the dispersion of the spores. The veiled lady is very short-lived, yet the specimen we found was still fresh regarding the slime covered cap and the undamaged hexagon-tessellated skirt – almost a perfect piece of modern architecture.