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Camdeboo: Animals

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra

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Wild about cats
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Camdeboo: Animals

Unread postby Wild about cats » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:02 pm

Here are the aniamsl listed under Camdeboo NP:
-Springbok
-Bat-eared Fox
-Meerkat
-Vervet Monkeys
-Steenbok
-Blesbok
-Black Wildebeest
-Kudu
-Grey duiker
-Cape buffalo
-Gemsbok
-Red Hartebeest
-Cape mountain zebra
-Klipspringer

It also says that there are 13 carnivores but doesn't list them. What carnivores have been sighted?
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Unread postby Addo Elephant » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:30 am

Hi wild about cats
The carnivores are:
Black-backed jackal
Cape fox
Bat-eared fox
Cape clawless otter
Striped polecat (weasel)
Water mongoose
Yellow mongoose
Large grey mongoose
Suricate
Small-spotted genet
Aardwolf
Caracal
African wild cat
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Unread postby Wild about cats » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:36 am

Thanks AE, I'm gald they have 2 small cats in the park. :D
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:22 pm

Is an aardwolf a carnivore, I thought they only eat insects?
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Unread postby Wild about cats » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:04 pm

Yes hes right. Wait... Isn't taht still a carnivore? Its still eating other living things even if its insects... but that doesn't count... :hmz:
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Unread postby Stoffel » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:08 pm

I'm sure an aardwolf qualifies as a carnivore. Herbivores eat grass and other vegetation - so it is surely not a herbivore. An omnivore eats meat (including insects) as well as grass etc.

Or am I wrong?
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Unread postby DuQues » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:06 pm

It is an insectivore. An insectivore is a carnivore with a diet that consists chiefly of insects and similar small creatures.
The aardwolf also eats carrion when it finds it.
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Unread postby restio » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:47 pm

According to my reference book (Mammal Guide of Southern Africa, Burger Cillie) the aardwolf eats "termites, especially harvester termites and other insects. No meat."

It's on! The battle of the reference books! Time for me to go trawling through academic journals.... :wink:
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Unread postby Stoffel » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:21 pm

DuQues wrote:It is an insectivore.


I accept DQ. Never heard of this term before - although I know the Afrikaans term "Insekvreter".
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Unread postby Wild about cats » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:17 am

According to my 'Wild' Magazine, they are stricly insectivores, consuming no meat.
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Unread postby DuQues » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:51 am

The carrion bit was mentioned on Wikipedia, and sounded logical to me. Why not grab the free meal?
But I googled a bit, and came up with these:

What does it eat?
Aardwolves truly are specialists. They are nocturnal insectivores with highly specialized diets of harvester termites. These termites come out in late afternoon to evening because they are unable to tolerate light. During that time, aardwolves collect these termites with their long, sticky, well-adapted tongue. In fact, their cheek teeth are reduced to few simple pegs since they are not needed to catch the termites. Don't be mistaken however, they have relatively sharp canines that can certainly inflict damage. An aardwolf may consume up to 200,000 termites in a single night. Hence, they are very important in controlling these insects. During lean seasons, aardwolves feed on other insects and larvae dug out of the ground with the help of their large ears and acute hearing.

(source)
The aardwolf is a carnivore, but is called an "incomplete carnivore" because it is an insectivore. Its typical diet is Harvester termites (Trinervi termites), insect larvae, and occasionally eggs of ground nesting birds.
(...)
On an average night, an aardwolf can consume anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 termites. The termites usually come out in dense columns, so all the aardwolf has to do is lap up as many of them as it wants to eat.
(...)
The aardwolf's prey is termites, insect larvae, and eggs of ground nesting birds. It usually eats termites, but occasionally, it will find some carrion that the hyenas have killed, or a small rodent to eat.

(Source)

So yes or no? I don't know....

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Unread postby Wild about cats » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:28 pm

This is a tough one. I guess it is logical that they eat carrion when they can.
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Unread postby restio » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:14 pm

I agree, WAC, it would make sense that in lean times they eat what they can find. It's always interesting when different sources are contradictory.
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Unread postby Arnold » Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:22 am

Aardwolves are termitivores = eat termites.

WAC pointed this out to me in another thread - I wanted to oppose this opinion, because I saw them at carcasses in the veld regularly.
With this new thread I pulled the "bible" on Southern African Mammals from the shelf, just to make shure about all these remarks and my own observations. :roll:

In Smithers, Skinner and Chimimba (2005, Cambridge University Press) I got the following on the diet of the Aardwolf:

"The Aardwolf's diet is the most thoroughly documented aspect of its biology ... estimated that an aardwolf in the Northern Cape consumes about 105 million termites a year and as many as 300 000 (1.2 kg) each night... the reports of the assosiation of aardwolves with carcasses are probably the result of the presence of maggots and carrion insects, which they eat when other food is scarce (Cooper & Skinner 1979; Anderson 1988) (p 364-5)

Another interesting fact from Skinner is that Aardwolves do not under normal circumstances need surface water as they get all their water requirements from the termites they consume. Only in very cold spells of winter when termites are inactive they were observed drinking water.

Thought I'd share these findings with all interested in these fascinating animals. Now we all learned something...

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Unread postby BushCall » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:36 am

The Aard wolf has not got big sharp teeth for meat eating bit rather stubby blunt teeth and are about 95% insectivorous and are not a menace to stock farmers like Jackal and Caracal but they are consistently persecuted nontheless...so we must keep on pushing the message that it is only an insect eater with a bit of Fruit like Tsama Melons etc and in that way hopefully farmers and vermin hunters will leave it alone


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