Thursday, August 21, 2014
The Hawksbill Turtle is a critically endangered reptile. She favours tropical coral reefs. Her main diet consists of sea sponges, although she also eats jellyfish, algae and sea anemones. Every two years, she comes ashore in secluded lagoons to mate. After mating, she hauls herself ashore under cover of darkness, digs a nesting hole with her rear flippers and lays her eggs. This can take many hours, during which she buries them again and returns to the sea. The baby turtles hatch two months later, during the night, and begin the perilous journey to the sea. Any that remain out during daylight are preyed upon by birds and other predators. It takes decades for these youngsters to attain maturity.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The African Harrier-Hawk is a medium sized raptor. She makes her home in woodlands, tree plantations and urban areas. Her diet is omnivorous and includes the fruit of the oil palm, as well as small vertebrates. She is a skilled climber, using her wings as well as her feet and beak. Her knees are double jointed, which allow her to reach into these otherwise inaccesible holes and crevices. In this manner, she raids the nests of cavity-breeding birds. Her own nest is a large structure of sticks, built in a tree or on a cliff ledge. She broods up to three eggs but, like most raptors, siblicide is common and often only one chick will survive to fledging.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
The Hartebeast is a species of antelope who makes her home in the African grasslands. She is social in nature and can live in herds numbering into the hundreds. Within the herds, separate groups form with males being separate from females, and with a frequently contested social hierarchy. Whilst the herd grazes, several individuals keep an eye out for danger. Hartebeast will only migrate in times of great need - such as after a natural calamity or during a drought. She consumes less water than her relatives, and has a lower metabolic rate. Reproduction is year-round, although most prevalent when food is available in sufficient quantity.