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Thursday, December 29, 2011

These Holidays are for the Dogs...

Black-backed Jackal
(Tanzania, 8/11)
Greetings all! I has been a while since I posted. The end of the semester is always hectic and then that rolls right into the holidays. I have enjoyed my time off. I sleep more than I should, I eat too much and watch more Netflix than one man should. I blame the weather. It has been so unseasonably warm. Kind of like the dog days of December. Which leads me to this photo. Just look at how FULL this jackal is! There is a reason they call it "wolfing down your food". Many (if not all) Canids can consume huge amounts of food at one time. In Africa, we watched scavengers fighting over remains -- vultures, hyenas, jackals and even lions. Simply having the ability to carry so much food in your stomach is an advantage. However, this guy looks as if it couldn't even outrun me at this point, so there must be trade offs. For a comparison, here is the same species (not the same individual though) without a full belly.
Black-backed Jackal
(Kenya, 8/11)
We were able to see four species of wild Canids in Africa : Black-backed, Golden and Side-striped Jackals as well as Bat-eared Fox (Note that Hyena is missing from this list. They are not dogs! But more on that in future posts...). The Black-backs were quite common and we saw them everywhere. We only saw two families of Bat-ears and distant views of single Golden and Side-stripes.
Bat-eared Fox
(Kenya, 8/11)
One of my favorite memories of our Africa trip was seeing our first family of Bat-ears. That is partly due to the fact that I spotted them :). Nothing beats getting the jump on your guide. But they are just amazing looking critters. These ones didn't let us observe them long. They seemed to want some peace and quite and picked up and left as soon as we pulled over. But I managed a few photos including the last one that shows how these fox go their name. They are small enough (they top out at about 12 pounds) to prey on insects as well as vertebrates.


Bat-eared Fox
(Kenya, 8/11)

2 comments:

  1. Finally :) That first pup has a HUGE belly! Crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow...nice shots of the bat-eared fox!!

    ReplyDelete

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