Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus)
National University of Singapore Faculty of Science, 18th March 2014

This carcass of a Plantain Squirrel was found by Amanda Kirsten Lek.

Find out how you can contribute to Monday Morgue too.

Photograph by Xu Weiting

Bizarre death of a Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus) at Kent Ridge

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Kent Ridge, campus of the National University of Singapore, Science Drive 4; 7 April 2016; 0830 hrs.

Observation: One juvenile example of about 1 m total length was found freshly dead and draped over the edge of the door of a toilet cubicle. Figure 1 shows the limp body of the dead snake hanging down the side of the door. Figure 2 shows the head of the dead snake on the side of the door facing the cubicle.

Remarks: This appears to be an accident. The Python could have coiled itself on the metal box of the door closer (indicated by white arrow in Fig. 1) and escaped the notice of the person using the toilet cubicle. It had probably tried to slip over the side of the door facing the cubicle as the door was being shut, thereby catching it at the neck and crushing that section of the body. However, it is also possible that it was not an accident. The user of the toilet cubicle could have noticed the snake, and had deliberately and forcibly shut the door to kill it. The Reticulated Python is a common snake in Singapore. It frequents most terrestrial habitats, from forest to mangroves, and is often found near human habitation (Baker & Lim, 2012: 91).

Reference:

  • Baker, N. & K. K. P. Lim, 2012. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Updated edition. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte. Ltd. and Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 74

It’s been a busy morning! I received a call at 9am this morning informing me of a dead Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus) near Chinatown. The bird was found alive on the ground being harassed by a cat, and it died shortly after of unknown causes despite the rescuer’s intervention.

The second carcass is that of an Indian Cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus), a common winter visitor and passage migrant through Singapore, that unfortunately died near the Chinese Library at NUS. I’m not entirely sure what the cause of death was, but the bird was found near to a glass wall (indicative if windowstrike) but it also had a gaping wound on its neck (which could have been caused by a predator, or a post-mortem injury).

Source: David Tan Instagram

Got a message that a bird was found dead on Science campus but no clue what it was, only that the staff seemed fascinated by it. Went over and saw that it is the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher or the Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca).

Source: Chace Foo Instagram

I’ve been too busy to post about dead birds for a while now, but this is too gorgeous to ignore. This Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda), an uncommon winter visitor to Singapore, was found early this morning at the NUS School of Computing, still fresh (we were able to recover a hipppboscid blood parasite fly from the body, and these tend to disappear from the body once it starts cooling down). Ruddy Kingfishers, like many other migratory kingfishers in Singapore, are notoriously difficult to spot while on migration as they tend to remain silent and are thus difficult to detect.

Source: David Tan Instagram