Tag Archives: Ungulates

Deadliest of the Big Five, the smallest Herbivore.

The Cape Buffalo, (Syncerus caffer) now has the distinction of killing more hunters than any other member of the big five (the five animals most dangerous to hunt on African safari).

No doubt economics (hunting package price) and relative numbers contribute significantly to this position.

The other members of the big five family:

  • Elephant
  • Black Rhinoceros
  • Lion
  • Leopard
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Cape Buffalo, (Syncerus caffer) in Addo Elephant Park.

(#29 of 100)

Black and White Stripes are Good for…

… deterring biting flies.

The purpose of the black and white stripes on zebra has been the subject of some speculation. One suggestion is that stripes make it difficult for predators to single out an individual zebra from the herd, but experimental evidence to support that and other ideas has been lacking.

Turns out bloodsucking horseflies and tsetse flies who do not only deliver nasty bites but also carry dangerous germs find zebra stripes less attractive than uniform colouration.

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Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra).

(#27 of 100)

Had a bite of your national symbol lately?

At least 20 nations eat their national animal (several types of fish,  deer, elk, alpaca, camel, pheasant, oryx, bison, gazelle , rabbit, kangaroo and cattle).

From time-to-time, a Kiwi (New Zealander) would remark in rather disapproving tone, “they [Australians] are the only nation to eat their national animal”  (Kangaroo).

South Africans would know this to be untrue as eating Springbok is even captured in song “… gee my Springbok biltong, gee my boer beskuit, gee my lekker koffie …”.

From commentary on the web it looks like the “boast” of being the only nation to eat their national symbol might be of Australian origin.

Irrespective of the source, nations who eat their national animal is not in short supply.

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Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) on alert.

This photo taken at Witzenberg Game Park outside Wolseley, South Africa.

(#4 of 100)