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Walk in Africa / Botswana
22 Jul

The problem with being tall

Those of us who have grown-up watching Giraffe don't realise it, but they really are weird looking animals. Most of us have been told since childhood that the incredible height of a giraffe (up to 5.5m or 18 feet!) is an adaptation to allow it to reach food material beyond the reach of other browsers. Personally I'm not convinced that this was the driving selective force for that great height. I think that excellent vision combined with great height provide giraffe with their best predator-avoidance mechanism and it is this advantage...

15 Jul

At the movies

I've just returned from a wonderful safari with a very small, super-talented film crew consisting of Jan Stevens, Stijn van der Veken & Patrick Verbraecken who were working on a documentary on the life & times of Steve Bolnick. We started in my coastal fynbos home . . . . . . and proceeded to my bush home Amazingly the very first animals we saw on this safari were three Cheetah. This photograph clearly illustrates how well camouflaged these regal animals are when in their natural habitat.     We worked hard and had some...

3 Jun

Musth Elephant in Okavango

I recently returned from yet another wonderful safari in Botswana with a special couple. On one of our drives we came around a bend in the road in the midst of a beautiful mopane forest and encountered this bull elephant in musth.   Musth is a hormonal condition exhibited by male elephants once a year after they have reached sexual maturity. It is associated with increased sexual activity and is recognised by three visual cues. A bull elephant in musth has a copious (strong smelling) secretion from his temporal gland, his penis...

16 May

Lion Passion

  The safari season is upon us again and that makes me shiver with excitement. As an introduction to the season I dug up my favourite photo from last year. Last year while on a safari deep in the central Kalahari we came across a pair of mating lions. When the female is sexually receptive lions will mate every 20 to 40 minutes for several days. They do not hunt or eat during this time and do not move very far. They were close to our camp and as a result we had...

16 May

More (and more) Meerkats

Meerkats live in family groups of up to 30 individuals. It is no coincidence that Meerkats are social animals. The desert is a harsh environment and in order to survive Meerkats require the cooperation of the entire colony. So dependent are they oInternet-Based Business n cooperation that research suggests that if the number of individuals in a colony drops below the critical threshold of 6 animals, the colony will not survive. [caption id="attachment_1293" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Meerkats are social animals"][/caption] Meerkats are a diurnal species (ie they are active by day). In...

16 Apr

Meerkats and the water mystery

A little while ago I mentioned that meerkats never drink water and yet they live active lives and require a lot of water for their metabolism. Remarkably they obtain all their water from the food which they eat. And they obtain all their food fBuy Cialis Online Without Prescriptionromorder generic cialis underground. They feed mainly on juicy beetle larvae, succulent frogs and crunchy (but moisture-filled) scorpions and in this way they obtain all the moisture that they require. In the following photo you can see the last bit of a...

9 Apr

Meerkats & the extreme desert temperatures

Meerkats are really remarkable. They are small mammals that live in an extremely harsh environment. Their small shape means that they lose or gain heat very rapidly and being mammals this means that they must expend energy in maintaining their bodlevitra online no prescriptiony temperature and they must find behavioral ways in which to avoid excessive heat gain or heat loss. They are sociable animals and they live in burrows. At night the temperature in these burrows does not drop as low as on the surface. Also the meerkat family...

2 Apr

Makgadikgadi Meerkats

I'm currently on the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana. This is a challenging desert environment and all life forms here are adapted to survive under the harsh conditions. The Meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are not only the most endearing specBuy Discount Cialis Online ukies here but are also a window into the challenges and other species of this area. Over the next few posts I will share some of the lessons I have learnt from these wonderful animals. ...