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Once again we have been blessed with lovely weather. Today’s walk across the beach was spectacular and I’m not sure whether it was the dogs or the humans who enjoyed it most.

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iles/2010/10/Beach-dogs.jpg”>Hiking with dogs

Hiking Noordhoek beach

We had hoped to see Whales today but in this regard we were disappointed. However en route we did encounter some MUCH smaller vertebrates.

This beautiful Southern Rock Agama (Agama atra) decided to hide under my hiking boot and so afforded us a close-up view of his colours.

The males of this species are brightly and conspicuously coloured in order to attract females and warn-off rival males. However they don’t want to advertise themselves to predators like The Rock Kestrel, so they have evolved two very smart strategies for this contradiction. Their brightest purple-blue colours are located on their throats and these are displayed to those below when the lizard bobs his head and flashes his throat from an elevated position. His most dangerous predators are birds that come from above and in this way he focuses his advertising where it is needed and hides it from where it would reveal him to the wrong recipient. In addition to this, he has the ability to VERY rapidly change colour. So when he detects a predator he quickly loses all of his colour and blends in perfectly with the rocks where he lives.

We also met this tinyest Angulate Tortoise (Chersina angulata).

Comments:

  • Pia from Riihimäki
    October 29, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Wow, so bright blue colours at the beach – got to say I envey you guys! In Finland it’s so dark and moist at this time of a year. Altogether you have a wonderful route, so many things to see and things to remember at home afterwards. Hope the rest of your hiking goes well! Greetings to my father Seppo and to Ritva 🙂

  • Pia from Riihimäki
    November 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Philippa!

    I was a bit late, or you were quick. You finished the walk already on 29th. I got sms message from my father and Ritva. Thank you for your reply. The November started and it’s getting colder, I’m waiting the snow. Have a nice time in Africa!!

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