March 21, 2010

Vertebrate fossil from Gua Naga Mas, Ipoh

A large vertebrate fossil in Gua Naga Mas exposed on the ceiling of the limestone cave (Kinta Limestone).

Gua Naga Mas is an abandoned cave temple that features the fossilized bones of an ancient animal possibly from the Pleistocene period. The fossilized bones, the only to be found in Peninsula Malaysia so far, and are thought to date back sometime between 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago. The fossil is almost complete, about 1m long, probably a small tiger, a bear or wild dog. It was first discovery in 1992 by members of the Malaysian Nature Society of Perak. This cave had been designated as protected site by the Museum and Antiquity Deparment, Malaysia.

March 1, 2010

Chiton, Langkawi

Chiton from P. Langgun
Langkawi, Kedah

Chitons are small to large, primitive marine molluscs in the class Polyplacophora. There are 900 to 1,000 extant species of chitons in the class, which was formerly known as Amphineura.

These mollusks are also sometimes commonly known as sea cradles or "coat-of-mail shells". They are also sometimes referred to more formally as loricates, polyplacophorans, and rarely as polyplacophores.

Chitons have a shell which is composed of eight separate shell plates or valves. These plates overlap somewhat at the front and back edges, and yet the plates articulate well with one another. Because of this, although the plates provide good protection for impacts from above, they nonetheless permit the chiton to flex upward when needed for locomotion over uneven surfaces, and also the animal can slowly curl up into a ball when it is dislodged from the underlying surface. The shell plates are surrounded by a structure known as a girdle. Source- Wikipedia