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IMBERBE #12: VIRTUAL BUSHWALK (QM)

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looney_lea
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Unread postby looney_lea » Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:57 pm

Image Shu Guys - Caught up with you at last. Yip - Looks as if something or someone has aggrivated the Hippo - Maybe he is just letting everyone know that "Hy is die baas van die plaas" (He is farmer of the farm.

So where to from hey Chief???

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Jeanus
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Unread postby Jeanus » Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:07 pm

I am loving this walk Imberbe. I can almost see the slight mist rising of the water, smell that delightful african river small crossed with the sweet scent of some flower, hear the francolin and hippo as they snort when they rise - keep it up.
"The grass is always greener over the sceptic tank"

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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:01 pm

:clap: Well done you guys!

Yes, this is "the boss". And no, he is not tired! Just showing his weapons and dominance.

But let us allow LL to catch a little breath. Lets spend a little more time with these wonderful animals ...

Q. Tell me a few things about:

1. Their social system.
2. Mating behaviour.
3. Feeding.

Feel free to :cam:
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


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looney_lea
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Unread postby looney_lea » Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:48 pm

Okay I've caught my breath.

Lets see a) Social behavior : They live in groups of about 12 cows and calves headed by a bull. Hippos have a flexible social system defined by hierarchy and by food and water conditions. In periods of drought large numbers are forced to congregate near limited pools of water which can result disruption and chaos leading to aggression and fights between the males.

b)Mating : They mate in water.
c)Feeding: This is done at night as we have already determined. Hippos are selective grazers,favouring short new green grasses and can eat up to 60kg of grass in one day. They also eat fruit, vegetables, sugar and corn. They obtain enough moisture from their food and dew.
Last edited by looney_lea on Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dotty
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Unread postby Dotty » Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:51 pm

Q.
1.Upwards from 15 in a group called a pod mostly females with young
2.Agressive???
3.Grazes at night??
KUDU's mean Well done and Thank you

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jonty1
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Unread postby jonty1 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:15 pm

Wow this walk is amazing...the sweet smell of water in the air. mmmmm...lovely. and these hippo's look so peaceful in this water...(want to join them) :wink: (dont worry imberbe, i wont)

1. Their social system.
Although hippos like to lie in close proximity to each other, they do not seem to form social bonds except between mothers and daughters, and are not social animals. Hippopotamuses are territorial only in water, where a bull presides over a small stretch of river, on average 250 meters in length, and containing ten females. The largest pods can contain up to 100 hippos. Other bachelors are allowed in a bull's stretch, as long as they behave submissively toward the bull. The territories of hippos exist to establish mating rights. Within the pods, the hippos tend to segregate by gender. Bachelors will lounge near other bachelors, females with other females, and the bull on his own. When hippos emerge from the water to graze, they do so individually.
2. Mating behaviour.
Female hippos reach sexual maturity at 5 to 6 years of age and have a gestation period of 8 months. Males reach maturity at around 7.5 years. Peak conceptions occur during the end of the wet season in the summer, and peak births occur toward the beginning of the wet season in late winter. After becoming pregnant, a female hippopotamus will typically not begin ovulation again for 17 months.
3. Feeding.
They emerge at dusk to graze on grass. While hippos rest near each other in territories in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.
Trips coming up:
June: Addo (1st time... can't wait)
Sept: KNP

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Dotty
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Unread postby Dotty » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:55 pm

I am learning such a lot here thanks so much, feel free to giggle at my answers.
KUDU's mean Well done and Thank you

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looney_lea
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Unread postby looney_lea » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:56 pm

Dotty - :lol:

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jonty1
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Unread postby jonty1 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:00 pm

oh dotty...i think the heat is getting to you :wink: you're starting to doubt yourself
Trips coming up:
June: Addo (1st time... can't wait)
Sept: KNP

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Dotty
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Unread postby Dotty » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:02 pm

:lol: I'm really enjoying this :clap:
KUDU's mean Well done and Thank you

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p@m
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Unread postby p@m » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:08 pm

jonty1 wrote
Although hippos like to lie in close proximity to each other, they do not seem to form social bonds except between mothers and daughters, and are not social animals.


Image

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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:24 am

I really have a knowledgeable crowd walking with me today! It is great to share knowledge in this way. 8)

Lets think a little more about their feeding behaviour.

Have another good look at this guys teeth! Use your binoculars and have a good look!

Image

As you can see the front teeth are not useful for feeding purposes. They are weapons!

Now we may ask ourselves how a hippo can feed on grass with these teeth?! Especially since they prefer real short grass. The areas where they regularly feed looks like a well kept lawn.

Hippo actually use their lips to crop the grass, and not their teeth! Their nice broad muzzle, and strong lips enable them to utilise even the shortest grass. I have seen groups of hippo returning every third evening to a feeding spot. Three days worth of growing does not translate to much grass!
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.

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looney_lea
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Unread postby looney_lea » Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:36 am

Wow Imberbe, That is a very interseting fact. And now that you mention the size of his teeth - It makes sense. I have a question : Why is it that hippos are so big and yet they are vegeterians?

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jonty1
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Unread postby jonty1 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 4:25 pm

Wow...that is interesting imberbe.... :lol: can you imagine picking your food off your plates with your lips :lol:
would be quite messy i can imagine
Trips coming up:
June: Addo (1st time... can't wait)
Sept: KNP

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naturelover
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Unread postby naturelover » Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:51 pm

Hi all

A hippo's teeth are deadly weapons which have killed many. When walking near a river or waterhole when there are thick reeds and/or thick vegetation obscurring the visiblitiy of the bank and surrounding area also look out for look out for signs that animals frequent the area e.g. paths leading leading from the water into the bush as they could have been made by hippo moving to and from the water. It is best to avoid areas like these in the early morning enter and late afternoon as these times are when you are most likely to encounter a hippo out of water because they usually enter the water when it starts to get light and leave when it starts to get dark.


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