Thank you for all your Votes and Comments on 'Lunch 98 - Suckling Elephant'. Really pleased to get so many "aaah's"
Sorry, Ronnie, to have put you off your Alpen, on reading about the baby Ele's transition from milk to veg diet, via its Mum's dung (that'll teach you not to fiddle with your mobile at the table..!!!).
I don't know why you should be so surprised to learn that a mother Elephant's teats are under their armpits, Barbara. That's where most of the girls I know, keep theirs...
Annette dubbed the Ele's as "Kenyan Lawn Mowers"; so apt. But the thing that's often fascinated me is that these huge beasts are constantly on the move, never staying in an area to polish off what's in front of them. They will even move from an area of lush vegetation into a barren one. Then their tempers flare and anything in their way gets knocked over, including trees.
Why would one area be barren and another full of lush grassland? You may think immediately of water supply and partially, you would be correct. But it's a fascinating fact that even in a small area like Nairobi's National Park, there are over 100 different grass species and two distinctly different soil types. Given those two factors, the variables multiply. One species of grass is known as the Boring Grass - take a ripe seed and place it on your arm - add some spit (or water) - and the seed stands on end and attempts to bore its way into your arm. Obviously, the same happens when the seed is on the ground and it rains...
The Impala - or my nickname for this very graceful Antelope - "McDonalds" (can you guess why?). They are a favourite food of all the big cats, although they can run nearly as fast as a Cheetah. They are able to twist and turn very quickly, even at high speed. They also jump during a run, thrusting out their hind hooves, kicking out at their pursuer. Many chases by the big cats are thwarted by these cunning beasts.
They stand at 3' (90cm) to the shoulder and weigh 40 - 50kg, the males weighing more. Only the males carry the long lyrate horns. Herds are either made up of batchelors or a single male with a harem of between 12 - 300 females. During the breeding season (timed to coincide with the rains), the male alternates mating with fighting off members of the batchelor herd. Like most stags, they give off growls, roars and snorts and the sounds carry for up to 2 km.
The Impala usually keeps its head to the ground when feeding and I had resigned myself to uploading one such image for the Lunch series. One the occasion of V1, I had attempted an impersonation of a male Lion, to catch its attention, mid-mouthfull. I am unsure whether it was my impersonation, or Bobby's peels of laughter, which worked...
No. 100 of Lunch tomorrow. I'll do my best to find something suitably bloody
, to celebrate.
Have a Slovenly Sunday, everyone ...!
Wildlife and nature
Nairobi National Park
CarolG, bobpaige1, NDODS and 33 more