ECTOTHERM MONDAY – SCORPION

A (not so) friendly neighbor at the door!

The presence of *Scorpions* is one of the reasons why one should never walk around barefoot or with open shoes and never without light at night.

These small, but fierce creatures, can defend themselves by administering a painful – and in some cases deadly – sting. Any reaction usually lasts up to 10 days. For most scorpions these are usually minor and go away without complications. Severe stings can cause more pain, fever, and muscle aches for a few days.

The genus Parabuthus contains some deadly scorpions. There are a few species that are potentially life threatening and all the others will ruin your week.

If a Scorpion has a thin tail compared to its pincers then it is usually fairly harmless. If it has a thick tail and small pictures (like Patabuthus) then it is usually highly venomous.

So the one in this picture, which sat in front of my room, looks more fierce then it is 😊

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MAMMAL FRIDAY – LEOPARDS

Leopards (Panthera pardus) are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and numbers are declining globally.

Often hunted illegally their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration.

This is one of my favorite Leopard portraits which I took many years ago.

Enjoy your weekend!

PS: If you like to see more of my Leopard images go to https://www.sperka.biz/sg2

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

BIRD WEDNESDAY – RED-BILLED OXPECKER

This Red-billed Oxpecker was ‘baby sitting’ and probably having lunch on top of this small Cape Buffalo.

An adult Oxpecker will take docents of blood-engorged ticks, or thousand of larvae in a day.

But their preferred food is blood. That is the reason why they often peck on mammal’s wounds to keep them open.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

PICTURE OF THE WEEK – ELEPHANTS AND THE ROLLING HILLS OF ZULULAND

uMkhanyakude is the name of the northernmost district in KwaZulu-Natal.

Thanda Safari – where I live and work – is located on the eastern border of this very rural district. It contains many areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the St Lucia greater wetland park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, Tembe Elephant Park and – of course – Thanda.

The picture shows a herd of African Elephants moving thru the rolling hills of the district.

Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – BABY ELEPHANT

A newborn African Elephant weighs about 90kg / 200lbs and is about 1m / 3″ tall.

At first, Baby Elephants don’t really know what to do with their long noses, sometimes they even step on them.

They will suck their trunks just as human babies will suck their thumbs.

Have a good weekend!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

PICTURE OF THE WEEK – AFRICAN LION

The flehmen grimace is a rather comical sight produced by many male mammals. The main organ involved in the grimace is the Jacobson’s (vomeronasal) organ, in the nasal cavity just above the roof of the mouth.

The function of flehmen is to identify reproductive status of a possible sexual partners by ‘analyzing’ pheromones in the air.

To accomplish this the male will inhale a lot of air through the mouth which will then reach the Jacobson’s organ.

Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – PLAINS ZEBRA

Plains Zebras (Equus quagga) are the most common and geographically widespread Zebra species (Southern and Eastern Africa).

The subspecies resident at Thanda Safari is called Burchell’s Zebra.

Enjoy your weekend!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

BIRD WEDNESDAY & NEW YEARS DAY – YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY

It was a hot first day of the year so I thought this picture of two Yellow-fronted Canaries – having a refreshing bath – would be appropriate for the first post in 2020. These small birds are also knows as Green Singing Finches.

I hope you had a good start into the new year!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – BLUE WILDEBEEST

Yesterday morning I took this video showing a baby Blue Wildebeest – also called Striped Gnu – standing up for the first time and following its mum. This happened only minutes after the birth.

Sorry for the shaky camera work, but I had to hand-hold a 500mm lens to get this footage.

Mother and child were running just ten minutes later. Nature is marvelous!

And, for the last time in 2019: Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari