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Carcass Utilization!

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Radman
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Carcass Utilization!

Unread postby Radman » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:29 pm

Ok I had a long thought about this on :hmz:

If we look at the population of predators in the KNP meaning they all have to eat to survive .
But my question is what happens to all the carcass's are they just left there and let nature take its course or do these carcass's get removed by park rangers ?

I must admit I have seen a few in the Park but really for the amount of kills that take place on a daily bases surely there must be a cleanup? :shock:

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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Scipio » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:55 pm

Radman, all that is taken is Elephant tusks of the dead, the rest is left to the scavangers, ants, beetles and nature takes its course. At the turnoff to Mopani from the main road there are still some bones of Alexander the Tusker that died there 2 years ago. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby DinkyBird » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:15 pm

but really for the amount of kills that take place on a daily bases surely there must be a cleanup?
This is a testament to how wonderfully nature works :dance:

If there is something strange that is noticed, like a whole lot of animals dying near a waterhole for eg obviously then the carcasses are tested for the cause of death.
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Dotty
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Dotty » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:55 pm

KUDU's mean Well done and Thank you

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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby flying cheetah » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:59 pm

Great video, thank you Dotty :clap: :clap:
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Weltenman » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:45 pm

Great video Dotty :clap: , very interesting how the leopard was also picking at the carcass. I guess if there wasn't so much activity from the hyenas you would have seen more of the leopard.
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Dotty » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:19 pm

Here are some fascinating facts about the creatures that play a part in the food chain featured in the programme:

-A five-tone elephant is six million calories of fat, muscle, bone and guts. It would feed 300 people for a week.

-An elephant eats its own body weight every 25 days.

-An elephant has 450 litres of blood.

Hyenas have a sense of smell 40 times stronger than ours.

-An elephant's skin is 2.5cm thick. Vultures and hyenas get through the skin by attacking the soft, anal region of any carcass first followed by the mouth, the genitals and any wounds.

-The high-pitched chattering of the spotted hyena is responsible for its common name, the laughing hyena, and is a signal to other hyenas that there is fresh food. It can be heard up to five miles away.

-Hyenas have special bone-crushing teeth to extract the calcium inside.

-Female hyenas have penises and give birth through them. They have testosterone levels six times higher than the males.

-Leopards (and other nocturnal animals) have a reflective layer of cells behind their retinas which bounces light back through the retina, giving it a second chance at imaging. Their night vision is six times better than ours.

-Leopards can eat 20kg of meat in one go - more than 25,000 calories and the equivalent of 70 cheeseburgers.

-Maggots can consume 150kg of dead elephant flesh a day.

-Vultures have exceptionally corrosive stomach acids that allow them to safely eat rotten meat that would kill other animals.

-Hundreds of thousands of maggots feeding on a carcass can raise the surrounding temperature by 10 degrees celcius, creating the perfect humid conditions for them to thrive.

-The safari ant is totally blind and lives underground until it detects a carcass. It is not known how they do it
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby RayK » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:43 pm

Interesting topic.
Thanks for the video, Dotty.
Very informative.
I saw something similar which I had written about in a TR of mine.
Two years ago I spent at least a half hour watching Vultures feeding on an Elephant carcass in Pafuri.
There were so many Vultures that the Elephant wasn't visible.
Not visible until one of them punctured an internal organ and a clear liquid came gushing out.
It was like a faucet was turned on.
The Vultures wanted nothing to do with that part of the carcass until the liquid stopped flowing.
Gruesome but fascinating to watch.
Went back four days later and all that was left was the hide and bones.

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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby okie » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:30 pm

Yah , it is certainly interesting how nature cleans up :doh: :doh:

A couple years ago , on the S100 we came across this bateleur sitting on a very fresh kudu carcass . I think the kudu got a fright from something , maybe lions :hmz: , and from the angle of its head where it was lying in the ditch , it appeared that it may have broken its neck .
Anyway , no predators around , except this bateleur who must have thought he was in heaven :D

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Well , I am sure the bateleur was not able to consume the whole kudu by himself , but next morning , this was all that remained - just the horns .


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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby oddesy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:21 pm

Very interesting thread :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: Thanks for the video Dotty :clap: :clap: would love to have seen the insect life included.

One of the major consumers of the bones are beetles and there are plenty around! Dermestids especially eat just about anything that very little else does :lol:
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Dotty » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:59 pm

Yes oddesy You are right They followed one beetle (with a tiny receiver thing glued to it) from a long distance away to the carcass. I can't remember what it was called :redface:
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Dotty » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:03 pm

try this link Oddesy :pray: hope it works for you
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:06 pm

Very interesting. :thumbs_up: :hmz:

On a recent visit to Kgalagadi, lions killed an oryx 250 metres from 2R gate. It took 4-5 days to be reduced to just the skeleton, which then is tackled by hyenas, which will also feast on the meat.

And there are not as many scavengers in KTP as there are in KNP.

Nature cleans up very quickly. No help needed from humans.
Last edited by Bush Baptist on Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby ndloti » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:53 am

Bruce Aitken describes in his book "Nightstalk" where he studied & photographed collared lions in the eastern Sweni river area in KNP that at some kills he witnessed during the night all that remained by first light was a discoloured patch in the ground .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Carcass disapearing

Unread postby Leaping Lizards » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:54 pm

Last year while on a Bush Walk around Letaba, we came across a Porcupine den.
The entrance was scattered with bones.
Saskia told us that porcupines eat the bones because they need the calcium for their quills.
So there is one of the many answers to where the bones go.
September - Orpen, Talamati and Satara :P


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