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Kruger Animals at Work

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Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:03 am Unread post
Sometimes when I see the Kruger animals I think about the work - from an animal perspective - that they have to do on a daily basis. Also how the females and males of the species instinctively know what to do to keep them going and how they manage to divide the work equally or perhaps not so equally. Although I personally think the males have slightly greater responsibilities than the females in the Kruger animal world from what I have personally seen driving around in the Kruger or in the Kruger Camps.

Think of the baboons for example - it looks like the mothers do most of the job to raise the small baboons and grooming them to rid them of fleas but the males have the daily work to keep the gene pool going and it is always a male that sits high up in the tree for the entire day in the hot sun looking for signs of danger to warn the Troop in time of approaching danger.

In a pride of lions the males also have a very big role to play, I guess that is why the females usually hunt together to ensure that “food is on the grass table” to ensure that the Lion Kings can keep up their strength to protect the pride and for other purposes including showing of their impressive manes.

I also feel empathy for the Elephant Bulls that have to travel for many kilometers to find the right Elephant Cow to ensure that small elephants are born a few months later but in between that it seems that they are feeding at leisure most of the time. I must admit it seems that the female elephants have a slightly bigger job here to raise the baby elephants.

Have you ever wondered about the work that the different Kruger animals have to do on a daily basis and whether the workload is equally shared amongst the males and females of the animal species :hmz: ?
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Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:37 pm Unread post
I wonder if the Honey Badgers that work so hard turning over the dustbins in the camps are male or female :hmz:


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Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:23 pm Unread post
When it comes to the dustbins in the Kruger camps and at the picnic spots I think the entire family or troop strategise and work together and share the work load equally :lol: .

The same with the Squirrels - I have seen in May how they collect food in camp the entire day before the winter. But I think they all share in the collection of food equally.


Re: Kruger Animals at Work

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Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:58 pm Unread post
Grantmissy Thats an inetresting way to keep the mind active ! let the mind wonder and wander at the same time :P

My mind wanders to : what evolutionary benefit does x or y have ? and then work it back to a time when x or y did not exist.

Thinking about the workload: It is the eternal driver for evolution and survival - How do I (we) ensure to have enough energy to be able to mature and produce offspring? and the division of labours between members of a species is all aimed at this goal.

Wow, heavy stuff for a Monday afternoon !

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:23 am Unread post
:) Bushguy 8)

Parental instinct in the Kruger animal kingdom can sometimes be observed in the work that they do to keep the herd, troop and den or ... healthy. We were once travelling early summers morning from Satara to the Orpen Gate. A hyena mother was carrying her litter one at a time in her mouth across the road presumably to a better den across the road. This was one of our most memorable Kruger sightings ever.

I have read somewhere that some beetle larvae who beg for food by poking their parents’ mouths too often run the risk of being gobbled up as beetle parents will eat their "too needy" offspring. To the parents it is necessary work that they have to do to ensure survival.

In the Kruger Camps it is always fascinating to watch birds hard at work building nests. There is plenty to see in Kruger and watching the animals at work is just one of the plenty to see and that is one of the reasons why we keep on returning to Kruger - plenty to learn and to enjoy :D 8) :cam: .


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Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:43 pm Unread post
I recon that some of the hardest workers are the males of the polygamous bird species - all those nests they have to build! Take the weavers - Village weavers for example. First they have to find an appropriate tree. Then they seem to spend quite a bit of time stripping branches clear of leaves - presumably to give them a better sighting of approaching predators like snakes. Then they have to fly backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, from material that they have sourced, carrying one strand at a time, and hang by their feet at all sorts of strange angles whilst they industriously weave the strand into the nest; often this involves mad fluttering of wings to give them something to push against. At the same time they are flirting with the females and desperately trying to seduce one into looking at the edifice under construction . . . and what does she do? More often than not she rips up the nest to show her displeasure and goes off to find a better architect! I often wonder if the males actually learn from this to be better nest builders, or is nest-building so hard-wired into a particular bird that it can never improve?

And then, just to finish the poor guy off, he doesn't just cater for the needs of one female - no, he could have as many as ten or twelve in a season. All those nests, all those kids - phew!


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Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:48 pm Unread post
salamanda, those poor birds :doh: all that nest building and the misses come and destroys it, not very nice of her :slap:


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:23 am Unread post
:) Salamanda I too have seen those Weaver ladies in the Kruger Camps hen-picking the work of the Architect apart.

Sometimes whist travelling on the Kruger roads some of us might let the mind wonder a bit beyond the best scientific facts in the field guides. In any case who wants to think about the work and the roof of the house that needs to be fixed whilst in Kruger?

Buffaloes are one of my favorite animals to watch. From a human perspective I sometimes think the Buffalo Bulls have a retirement plan after their Buffalo working and productive life. When they retire they take long mud baths and sometimes another retired grumpy old Bull will join in the mud bath and perhaps they Buffalo grimace to each other of all the sturdiest Buffalo cows they once have m(w)ooed over to their side. Perhaps even when a herd of their family passes buy they will tell, in a Buffalo way, the young stud bulls over the silence of the Kruger veldt that one day too they will be having mud baths at leisure when they have finished their work.


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:44 am Unread post
Hardest workers........certainly the Dung Beetles must be considered as real grafters and deserve a mention!

Whilst we all drive around and look at the 'biggies'.....it is often fascinating to stop and watch these guys hard at work and with definite purpose.

The size of some of the dung balls in comparison to body size is often quite impressive.

When they get a bit of a camber on the road or track they can also reach impressive speeds too.

They certainly get my vote.


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:50 am Unread post
To me there is no doubt who is the hardest worker in this family!!

Image


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:52 am Unread post
Shame the Cheetah also has to run so fast to catch their prey, then it's often stollen by other predators :doh:


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:18 pm Unread post
iedman wrote
Hardest workers........certainly the Dung Beetles must be considered as real grafters and deserve a mention


I agree iedman :thumbs_up: . It is always great to see them at work!


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:22 pm Unread post
Don't forget about the Starlings at picnic sites :wink:


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:04 pm Unread post
JeanniR

Those starlings (and monkeys and baboons) live by the adage : Work smart, not hard! :naughty:


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:24 pm Unread post
What about the Kruger bees? I had some thoughts about these when we stopped at Tshokwane in the late '90s. The place was full of bees, and we watched them for ages . My journal says:

We stop only briefly at Tshokwane which as usual is crowded and noisy and heavily populated by bees which seem to have taken up permanent residence in the dustbins. There is saligna honey and broom honey and wildflower honey and heather honey; and now it seems that the Tshokwane bees are in the business of producing cool drink honey. I wonder if it is changing the entire social set-up. Do they still look for pollen first? Are they still in the business of making queens if the hive gets overcrowded? Are the larvae being neglected because they are all high on coke? Or has a new stratum of worker bee developed: the coke-worker. Maybe they have become layabouts because food is so very easy to obtain. One of the staff picks up a dustbin lid with a practised flick, hurls in the rubbish and does a quick run - even the humans are changing their behaviour to suit the bees, this is scary stuff; perhaps Tshokwane will eventually become a giant hive with worker humans feeding the bins with all the coke cans in the park. . . .
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