What’s on KZN’s crowned eagles’ menu?

  This one’s for bird lovers, especially those who spend their time watching the feathered inhabitants of KwaZulu-Natal. A new study in the Ostrich journal sheds light on exactly what African crowned eagles in the province eat. Remains of 195 collected items of prey were collected from 17 nest sites. Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), vervet…

Plastics are the death of sea turtles – @Scibraai Monday Menu

Pieces of plastic floating in our oceans are creating an often life-threatening problem for our sea life. Of the 40 loggerhead turtles that died after being stranded along the southern Cape coastline in one month alone, 24 (60%) had ingested debris such as plastics, fibres and pieces of packaging material. In an article in Marine…

What is in the water that great white sharks swim in? #Scibraai Monday Menu

Skin samples of great white sharks contain worrying levels of environmental and biological contaminants. This is among the findings of a recent study in the journal Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology. Skin biopsies were taken from 15 great white sharks near Dyer Island off the Overberg coastline. The Italian and South African researchers involved ascribe…

“Kry die dino-tannie se handtekening, Ma

  As jy gelukkig genoeg is om ‘n ouer te hê wat ‘n dinosouruskenner is, sal jy absoluut geen idee hê hoe dit voel om die kind van ‘n eertydse Latyn-onderwyseres te wees nie. Want waar jy gewoond is om ‘n hele paar “wow’s” te kry wanneer mense vra wat jou ma-hulle dan doen, is…

Hunting in Africa: to ban or not to ban is the question

Hunting has long been a highly controversial activity, whether as a sport (leisure or recreational), for commercial purposes or if done for cultural reasons. African countries that legalise hunting activities experience scrutiny around their conservation efforts, and how much money they make from it. In an article in The Conversation Africa,  Nkabeng Maruping-Mzileni, a lecturer…

Keep calm and be a blue wildebeest

So just how stressed are blue wildebeest when they are kept in a boma? If you’d like to know the answer, ask Dr Liesel Laubscher of Komatipoort. She used infrared video recorders and biotelemetry belts used by athletes to find out just exactly that, as part of her doctoral research in animal science at Stellenbosch…

“Puff adders don’t smell … like anything” – meerkats, dogs

These little guys learn much faster than dogs apparently, at least when it comes to learning how to pick out a snake’s scent from a line-up. A photo posted by Anina Mumm (@aninja_m) on Jan 11, 2016 at 12:19pm PST In this photo, Ash Miller, a Wits post-grad, demonstrates how she trained meerkats to recognise…