Tag Archives: wildlife photography

Colours

20131004_00499

Carmine Bee Eaters
Zambezi Valley
Fotografia: JMPhoto

Sleeeeepy !

20131005_00355

Zambeze River

Fotografia: JMPhoto

Watching U !

JMP_1511.jpg

Fotografia: JMPhoto

Limpeza de Pele

JMP_1518.jpg

Fotografia: JMPhoto

Cecil

Um energúmeno chacinou – premeditada, cruel, cobarde e traiçoeiramente – Cecil, o leão icone do Zimbabwe. Pagou 50.000 dólares, contratou caçadores furtivos, montou uma armadilha. Cecil foi atraído para fora dos limites do Parque Hwange com um isco preso a um veículo, encadeado com um foco potente, objecto de tiro alvo com arco e setas (confessamente o “método” preferido da besta que o matou), deixado a sangrar por 40 horas, liquidado a tiro, decapitado (o troféu) e esfolado.

O assunto tem sido profusamente coberto pelos media e gerado movimentos de revolta a nivel planetario. Basta escrever “Cecil” em qualquer motor de busca.

Nao vale a pena tentar, sequer, compreender as motivações da bestialidade humana, a mais perigosa e letal especie ao cimo da Terra. Ainda por cima, quando os seus mais desgraçados exemplares são, simultaneamente, pretensamente instruídos e responsaveis.

O energumeno em questão é, alegadamente, médico nos EUA. Percorrendo a net, podemos vê-lo ostentado a barbárie que pratica, exibindo os seus “troféus”: mais leões, leopardos, rinocerontes, ursos negros. Alega que “é uma actividade que adora e que pratica de forma legal e responsável…”, adianta que “se soubesse que era Cecil, ainda para mais um leao monitorado electronicamente pela Universidade de Oxford, não o teria morto…”. Exemplar…

Nunca vi Cecil, mas tive já a felicidade de ver leões em liberdade, no seu habitat natural. Aqui fica a minha homenagem a uma das mais magnificas criaturas sobre a Terra.

Fotografias: JMPhoto

  

  

  

Street Fighters

2012 11 - N'Gala (47 of 208)-Editar

2012 11 - N'Gala (35 of 208)-Editar

Impalas, jovens machos em combate
Tanzânia

Fotografias: JMPhoto

Zebras

Fotografias: O resto da série que publiquei sobre este magnífico animal pode ser vista no meu site, João Martins Pereira, na Galeria “Born to Be Wild”, página “Pundamilia”, o nome da zebra em swaili.

20090809_02761-Edit

20090815_04446-Edit

Although our perceptions may differ, we can all agree that the zebra has one of the most striking coats seen in the animal kingdom. Two species of zebra occur in southern Africa: Burchell’s (or plains) zebra Equus burchellii and mountain zebra Equus zebra. Both Burchell’s zebra and the mountain zebra sub-species, Hartmann’s mountain zebra Equus zebra hartmannae, which is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, are found in Namibia. (The Cape mountain zebra is restricted to reserves in South Africa.)

Although zebras’ pied colouring serves to camouflage Hartmann’s zebra in mountainous areas, it often seems to be clearly visible in grassland, accentuated against the tawny shades of the antelope species, posing the question as to the evolutionary purpose for zebra stripes. Many hypotheses have been voiced over the years. One of the more naive explanations we receive as children simply describes zebras as horses wearing pyjamas, while the African legends have a tale about Zebra falling into the fire while challenging Baboon, burning the well-known stripes onto his skin.

It has been suggested, however, by those with more of a scientific bent that zebra stripes have a more practical and life-affirming purpose, to deter predators. Stripes merge when seen from a distance, making it more difficult for a predator to distinguish a single animal from the group, a definite advantage for herd animals. Because predators will always try and single out an individual animal, zebras’ safety depends on tight bunching. This trait can be seen in breeding groups when the mares and foals keep to the front and the stallion takes the rear.

20090815_04464-Edit

20090815_04469-Edit

20131004_00486-Edit

20110129_01145-EditWhite stripes on black or black stripes on white?

Stripes may also serve to confuse a predator as they narrow towards the head, neck and shoulders, widen towards the rump and break the outline of the animal, presenting a distorted image, making it difficult for the predator to judge the size, distance and direction the zebra is moving. The stripes also enable zebras to follow one another at night in poor visibility and amidst dust thrown up by their hooves when the big cats are out on the prowl.

Zebras are preyed upon by lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena and wild dog, animals that hunt using different methods and at different times of the day and night, making overall protection important at all times.

Experiments reveal that zebras are attracted to stripes, finding them visually stimulating, another mechanism programmed into their genes to ensure the herd animals remain together. Some scientists also believe that because colours absorb or reflect heat at different rates, black and white stripes may create a convection current, keeping them cool.

An interesting evolutionary hypothesis suggests that the zebra developed stripes over time to allow it safe passage down the African continent through tsetse fly areas. Stripes deter the blood-sucking pest that targets large surfaces. This may explain why the predecessors of the zebra managed to survive in Africa unlike those of other Equus groups. (Domesticated horses were introduced much later by the early settlers.)

In the wild, survival tactics take all forms and shapes and animals have perfected methods to ensure their survival. If solitary, camouflage, stealth and silence provide protection, and if sociable, safety is often found in numbers. In addition, some animals have built-in weapons such as horns, and others, like zebras, depend on their colouration and patterning – their dazzling black and white pyjamas – to baffle the enemy.

20090815_04474-Edit