Tiger slaying Dragon

Tiger slaying Dragon or Dragon-slaying Tiger?

Tiger Shrikes (Lanius tigrinus) are a migratory bird species that winters or pass through Singapore. Normally in the autumn months, the juveniles will pass through in significant numbers, and the former Bidadari Muslim Cemetery is a good place to see them.

The lizards from the genus Draco (meaning dragon) are commonly called flying dragons. They have an outstretched membrane made of skin between their ribs that aid in their gliding. They too can be found in Singapore, and Bidadari is an ideal environment as there are plenty of insects that serve as their food.

Tiger Shrike
(A juvenile Tiger Shrike with a flying dragon, Draco sumatranus)

This is a story told in pictures about the encounter of the Tiger and the Dragon that took place in September 2011.

Tiger Shrike
(A crouching Tiger with a not so hidden Dragon that met its end. Here you can see a common behaviour of the shrike where it seeks to impale its victim’s body to a sharp stake, in this case a cut-off branch. )

Tiger Shrike
(Not having success impaling its victim, it decides to chew off the sides of the flying dragon instead. Notice that it is standing on one leg, while the other is used to grasp the victim and position it closer to the bill.)

Tiger Shrike
(Another try to impale the victim. This behaviour is the reason why the shrikes are also known as butcher birds. The interesting question is whether the branch was deliberately broken by the bird, or was it actively seeking a sharp stake.)

Tiger Shrike
(Because this bird is a juvenile, it’s impaling technique has probably not been perfected. It decided it was way easier to just swallow the flying dragon whole, body first.)

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