Monday, 17 September 2007

Two

Two birds
I would appreciate help with naming of this photo. They are two seagulls at sunset in Hermanus, South Africa. I would like to see something romantic. Can you help?

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Rock Hyrax: the smallest elephant?

Rock Hyrax, Cape Hyrax (Procavia capensis)
Can't you see many similarities with elephants? :-) The fact is that this is the closest living relative to elephant. They are very funny and pretty animals.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)

Cape Hyrax, Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)
This cute creature is called Cape Hyrax, or Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis). It looks a little bit like a guinea pig with short ears and tail. They are also known as dassies in South Africa.

This animal has a bigger relative in the fauna kingdom. Who do you think? Well... an elephant. Yes, ELEPHANT!!! Hyraxes are stated to be the closest living relatives of elephants. These small animals (most measure between about 30 and 70 cm long and weigh between 2 and 5 kg) share numerous features with elephants, such as toenails, excellent hearing, sensitive pads on their feet, small tusks-like teeth, good memory, high brain functions and others. I have to say, I really like this theory.

Rock Hyrax basking in the sun
Hyraxes retain a number of early mammal characteristics. In particular they have poorly developed internal temperature regulation. They deal with this "inconvenience" by huddling together for warmth, and by basking in the sun like this fellow on the rocks of Hermanus in South Africa.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Watching whales

Whales watching
We saw them! Not very close unfortunately, but many of them. Hermanus at the Walker Bay in South Africa is the best land based whale watching destination in the world.

Whale tail
Magnificent creatures... they move quite slowly and graciously.

Whale jump
Sometimes they jump... and the crowd goes "Aghhh".