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 Post subject: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I have always been told most of the predators are active in the early morning, evening, and some at night. This makes sense in terms of escaping the midday heat and not hunting at this time. Does this pattern change in the winter though when the midday heat is less oppressive?

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Hi Graham,

a lovely question.

Most predators are opportunistic, think of the domestic cat. They will kill if the opportunity comes their way.

My experience, however, has often been that there has been a certain predictability.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Hmm yes that makes sense. It would be interesting to track Lions and Leopards with gps to see if their daily movements change between summer and winter..

I wonder if the same daily routine pattern applies to other mammals like rhino, elephant etc?

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Graham, Wilddog has been the most predictable for me. They have a very definate social structure that helps in the hunt. They also have a high metabolic rate that makes it almost impossible to hunt in the heat of the day.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Is this the case even in winter when it does not get too hot? Will be up early for Wild dogs every morning!

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:06 pm 
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There are always surprises that awaits. Have seen Honey badger @ 12:00 in summer on the tar road between Lower Sabie and Tshokwane. Animals don't always follow the manual :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:50 am 
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Boorgatspook wrote:
There are always surprises that awaits. Have seen Honey badger @ 12:00 in summer on the tar road between Lower Sabie and Tshokwane. Animals don't always follow the manual :wink:


That's 'cos they daint write the manual :wink:

They (who is 'they' btw?) say that it's a waste of time going on a game drive mid-day - yet my experience is that in winter game is hopping about all day - so predators have probably sussed that out!

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:48 am 
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My feelings are that the only predictable thing about animals is the unpredictability!
and I am never not amazed by some happening every time we visit a park.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:18 pm 
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The biggest chance for a predator to catch a prey animal is when they make use of a surprise attack. In the night or with the gloam, cats can see better than the prey animals and thus have a higher chance to surprise them (when they only use their hearing for running away).

For cheetahs I think it's different... Cheetahs catch a prey not only by surprise, but also by using speed. When it's dark, they don't see roughness of the ground very well and have a higher probability to wrench their legs. So I think, cheetahs also hunt on day time, but only when it's not too hot to prevent themselves against overheating.

I wonder how you forumites think about that?

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:37 pm 
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The (incorrect) assumption is that it is cool in the lowveld winter's midday. It can get rather warm even in June/July.

The animals settle to a daily pattern, but that is the norm not the rule.

I have seen lions hunting at midday, but they mostly stay put, but if they are roadside, you will get a great view. Others shelter as well, so if you are prepared to ride around, you might get some great sightings.

The only animal that hides in great numbers at midday is the one that drives around like mad at dawn!

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Last edited by Bush Baptist on Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:55 pm 
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We drink when we are thirsty and eat when hungry. Dont animals do the same? Isn't that why I have seen predators ( including leopards ) moving around to water holes and better sights for viewing game (food) in the heat of the day ?

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Interesting points all of these. Am guessing crocodiles will spend midday winters warming up in the sun as the window of opportunity to warm up is shorter than in summer?

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:26 pm 
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I will probably be out all day regardless! Will be out at 6am, back at 6pm!

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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:50 am 
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Interesting dicussion always the relation animal movements&temperatures! But I must say, I definately agree with Elsa on the fact that it's very unpredictable - I've been to Kruger now two years in a row, both times in April, and saw for example leopard 3 times in the two visits and all three times were between 11am and 3 pm. So my viewpoint to this is keep your eyes peeled any time of day - it all comes down to being in the right place at the right time... 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Animal activity at various times of day...
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Viewfinder wrote:
it all comes down to being in the right place at the right time... 8)


Now if I could just bottle that I would make a killing!

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