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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Stranded Mola Mola

Stranded Mola Mola Sunfish
The Mola Mola or Ocean Sunfish is heaviest bony fish in the world. They have an average adult weight of 1000kg and can become up to 2300kg. They resemble a fish head with a tail and flat body laterally. Mola Mola's can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended. They live on a diet that consists mainly of large amounts of jelly fish. Only a few natural predators will consume them like sea lions, orcas and sharks.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

African red-eye Bulbul

African Red-eye Bulbul
The African Red-eye Bulbul can be distinguished by the orange-red circle around it's eyes and yellow feathers by it's under side. It's habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. They become 19-21cm. (Rooioogtiptol - Pycnonotus nigricans)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sunset Table Mountain

Green pastures with Table Mountain in the background
Peaceful green pastures for those hectic days... :-)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Multi-coloured Dragonfly

Multi-coloured Dragonfly
Dragonflies are among the fastest flying insects. They are predators and will eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants and wasps. They are usually found around lakes and ponds. (Naaldekoker)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Kudu

Young (± 30 months) Kudu bull
Kudu's are large antelope with long legs and 6-10 vertical white lines on the sides. Big, rounded ears and long spiral horns. Height of 1.4-1.55m. Weight 250kg (bull), 165kg (cow). The length of their horns are on average 120cm and up to 188cm in total. 


A kudu group with a bull, cows and young kudus
They can be found in the Northern and Eastern parts of Southern Africa. Habitat is bushy savannas, but not open grass fields or forests. Kudus eat a wide variety of leaves but will also eat grass and vegetables. They are usually in small groups or 3-10 individuals. 


Kudu bull
Kudus are active in the early mornings and late afternoons. In areas where they are hunted they can become active at night. They are know for their agility and can easily jump over a fence of 2m in height. (Koedoe - Tragelaphus strepsiceros)


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Makalani Palm

Makalani Palm
Also called the Real fan palm. It is native to the subtropical, lowlying regions of south central Africa. They are dioicous and the female palms produce abundant green fruit - up to 2000 fruit may be found on a tree. These palms grown slowly, but can reach up to 18m in height. The local Ovambu's use these fruit, called eendunga to distill Ombike, a traditional liquor. (Hyphaene petersiana)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Elephant kicking up dust

Elephant kicking up dust
The dust can act as a protective coating on the Elephant's skin. Kicking up dust can also be aggressive behaviour by a bull.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Blue Wildebeest

Walking in a herd with some small ones
Also called the Common Wildebeest, these are large antelope. Males can grow up to 1.5m and weigh 275kg. Dark grey with a bigger and heavier chest than backside. Darker vertical stripes on the neck. Black tail. The young ones are more brown in colour. Their habitat is savanna tree veld and open grass fields. Drinking water is a necessity. (Blouwildebees - Connochaetes taurinus)


Lying on the ground
Two young ones

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Brown Moth

A brown moth with circles on it's wings that look like eyes

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Leopard Tortoise

Leopard Tortoise

The Leopard Tortoise is a large tortoise that can be found in eastern and southern Africa, from Sudan to the southern Cape. It is a grazing species that prefer semi-arid, thorny to grassland habitats. They have a attractive shell pattern which acts as camouflage in it's habitat. (Luiperdskilpad - Geochelone pardalis)

Leopard Tortoise

Friday, 15 February 2013

Rock Kestrel

Rock Kestrel
This Rock Kestrel is probably a female as it's head is quite similar in colour to it's body - this sometimes occurs with the females which make them look like a young Rock Kestrel. The males have grey heads. They can be found one-one or in pairs, but not swarms. They live in mountainous terrain or grass fields in Southern Africa. They over night in cliffs or trees. Become 30-33cm. (Kransvalk - Falco Rupicolus)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

Lion cubs

3 Lion cubs
A lioness gives birth to 1-4 cubs, but sometimes up to 6 at a time. At birth they weigh about 1.5kg (3.3lb). Gestation period is around 110 days. A lactating lioness will allow any cub to drink from her. Often times the lionesses will give birth at the same time to ensure that there is enough food for the cubs. Cubs will stay with their mother for 2 years or longer.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pinto horse

Pinto horse in the foreground
A Pinto horse has large patches of white and another colour - like brown in this case. Many different breeds can have pinto patterns.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Yellow-billed Kite

Yellow-billed Kite
The Yellow-billed Kite can be distinguished by it's yellow beak, brown head (not grey), dark brown eyes and forked tail. In the field they can easily be confused with the Black Kite, but the Yellow-billed Kite is more red-brown on it's chest. They breed in Southern Africa and become 55cm. (Geelbekwou - Milvus parasites)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Impala

Male Impalas

Impala's are know as the bushveld MacDonalds as they get caught by most predators. 
An Impala ram has long horns and the females don't have horns. Impala's also have a black mark at the back of it hind legs above the hoof, a black stripe in the middle of it's tail and a verticle stripe on each bum. They are mid-size with a light weight appearance. It's back is a reddish brown with it's chest, stomach, throat and chin being white. 
The Aepyceros melampus occur in the North Easterly parts of South Africa and upwards to Kenia. In South Africa they are imported into regions beyond their normal distribution. The Aepyceros melampus petersi (like the ones shown here) can be found in the North of Namibia to Angola. They are endangered and listed as vulnerable. The difference is the black line on it's forehead. 
They like savanna fields with trees for protection and won't be found in mountains. They also need drinking water. They feed off grass and leaves. (Swartneusrooibok - Aepyceros melampus petersi)

Mother and baby

Drinking from it's mother while she is keeping an eye out for danger

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Spotted Eagle-Owl

Watching you! - Spotted Eagle Owl
I was quite lucky to get so close to these Spotted Eagle-Owls as they are quite shy and will fly off very quickly. The Spotted Eagle-Owl is quite big, grey-brown colour and light yellow eyes. It's got fine horisontal lines on the chest and stomach. They can easily be confused with the Cape Eagle-Owl which looks very similar but is slightly bigger, has a spotted underside and bigger claws.


Walking around - Spotted Eagle Owl
In Southern Africa, Spotted Eagle-Owls can be found in pairs in the bush and even in cities where they will look for food. They become 43-50cm (Gevlekte Ooruil - Bubo africanus)

A pair sitting in a tree




Monday, 4 February 2013

Bowsprit Tortoise

Bowsprit Tortoise
The Bowsprit Tortoise is a small tortoise with a variable shell. They have "bowsprits" which are protrusion from their plastrons under their chins. They live in the South-Western part of South Africa and as far North as Southern Namibia. Their habitat is a large variety of coastal scrub vegetation. (Rooipens skilpad - Chersina Angulata)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Southern Masked Weaver

Southern Masked Weaver
The Southern Masked Weaver in the photo is a male in breeding season as it has red eyes, yellow crown and black head. In the non breeding season, the males and females look similar - not as colourful. They live in groups or swarms. They nest in small colonies in trees away from water. Become 15cm. (Swartkeelgeelvink - Ploceus velatus)
Southern Masked Weaver

Saturday, 2 February 2013

White Butterfly

White Butterfly
Here's another butterfly. It might be of the same species as a yellow one I posted some time back.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Marsh Terrapin

Marsh Terrapin
The African helmeted turtle or Marsh terrapin, is a small turtle with most of them being less than 20 cm in carapace length. It has a black or brown carapace (shell). They can be found over a large portion of Africa. These semi-aquatic animals live in rain pools, rivers, lakes, and marshes and like places that are fertilised. (Waterskilpad - Pelomedusa subrufa)