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Friday, 6 January 2012

Interesting wildlife.

Took a drive through the Weenen game reserve yesterday morning. (Weenen Place of weeping, will do a post about the name one day). This game reserve of 5000 hectares, is 40 minutes drive from Estcourt.  Meant to take dozens of photos of the scenery, wildlife and birds, But! Big But! Always make sure the cameras  battery is fully charged before you go on a photo expedition. Before the battery went flat I managed to photograph these interesting insects below.

Dung beetles arrive at fresh animal droppings within minutes. They have an amazing sense of smell. Before you know it the biggest pile of dung has been reduced to a few scraps which quickly dry out in the sun. 

Dung beetles work the dung into a perfectly round ball, lay one egg in it then roll it to a place where they can bury it. The egg hatches and the dung beetle larva is surrounded by it's favourite food. The larva never eats all the dung, so what remains is already under the ground as good fertilizer.

Enlarge the photo to see the shovel shaped head. You need a head like that if you're to use it to shovel "you know what", all day long with it. These insects keep the bush free of dung and thus keeping the fly population down. 

1 comment:

Jo said...

Aw Phil, I hope you're busy charging your battery now! I have a small point and shoot for times like this. But also have two batteries for my Canon. You can buy a charger for your car - not too expensive. We've also got this back-up as I've been down the road photographing birds on the mine when my battery has gone flat and I'd forgotten the other one in the charger back home. Love the photos and I always love seeing dung beetles at work. Have a great weekend. Love and blessings, Jo