Saturday, February 11, 2012

South African Critters

 I'm going to admit it. That a few weeks ago, I managed to destroy my camera. By driving over it with my little dump of a rental car. This was at the Cape of Good Hope, and I didn't realize I had dropped it until after dinner! Some kind soul found it and actually returned it to me, and it looks like it can be saved - fingers crossed.

Yes, and that's why I've been posting old pictures. Today from that very last ride with my dear little S90, down to the Cape Point National Park. Wildlife is one of SA's big tourist attractions - and though some of the ones here weren't quite wild when we saw them, all of them are native to subsaharan Africa.

There are actually plenty of ostrich farms down here, one just outside the park, and ostriches are strange creatures! They eat stones, to help them digest all the fibre they eat. As you can see, the babies start on little grains on sand, and move on to rocks the size of my fist later in life.

Their eggs contain as much, well, egg as about 24 chicken eggs (big omelette!), and their shells are so thick that the mother ostrich has to help break them with its chest bone. In the wild about two thirds of young ostriches die because they are crushed by the mothers chest bone. And, well, they do look a bit evil.

Later in the park, my brother and I were lucky enough to have one of these guys cross our path in the wild.

The Baboons were just chilling, lazily showing off their genitalia near the entrance gate.

And then of course the dassie, a small little mammal. It reminds me a lot of a marmot, but is in fact the closest living relative to... the elephant! I think they're much cuter though.

Another really common sight around the Cape are Agames, little lizards which come in different colors. We saw lots in black, and a few beautiful jewel-like multicolored ones (like the one getting friendly with a dassie in the first picture).

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