Showing posts from April, 2017

Horseshoe Crabs Past and Present: a NW Borneo Journey

Horseshoe crabs figured strongly in my week. Last Saturday (April 1st 2017), I spoke with Kevin Laurie, a Hong Kong-based expert on horseshoe crab behaviour and conservation. He mentioned the existence of a wall decorated with horseshoe crabs in Kampung Ayer, the water village of Bandar, Brunei, in northwest Borneo. Armed with this tip, I visited Kampung Ayer on the evening of the following Thursday (April 6th), guided by two very knowledgeable locals, Wann and Mark Putera Delima. Kampung Ayer is an interesting place in itself, with Antonio Pigafetta describing the place as he found it when the surviving Victoria and Trinidad of Ferdinand Magellan's fleet visited in July 1521 (shortly after Magellan's death in the Philippines). His description of "Burne" was as follows: " that city is entirely built in salt water, except the houses of the king and certain chiefs. It contains twenty-five thousand hearths. The houses are all constructed of wood and built up fr