Wildlife Photography Blog - the spot for site updates plus photography and conservation news, views, and opinions

Date: Saturday, 13 March 2004.
On the stock pictures page, the Waterbuck photo has been replaced by one of a herd of wildebeest drinking at the water's edge. These are blue wildebeest, as opposed to "black", which are darker in color and have horns that curve down and back rather than sideways and up.

The blue wildebeest's coloring - slate grey with black mane, face and tail - can give it a painterly feel in certain light. I've seen photos of the massive herds on the plains of East Africa that convey this effect.

Although not to the same degree, the photo of the wildebeest drinking also has this odd painterly feel. You'll need to download the full size image to see what I mean.

I was recently given a book, The Behavior Guide to African Mammals (by Richard Despard Estes). While paging through it, I came across some sketches illustrating dominance/threat displays by nyala bulls.

As I'd seen and photographed, but not understood, some of these actions, I found the explanation fascinating. Below are two pictures of dominance/threat displays.

Nyala lateral display photo

Lateral Display by Nyala bull
Photo of nyala bull ground-horning

Nyala "ground horning"
If you'd like to find out more about Estes's book and nyala behavior, see the article on Nyala Bulls' Dominance Displays.
While on the subject of animal behavior, I came across a fascinating article about the role of the plains zebra in conserving Africa's tropical grasslands. It's based on research by Princeton University ecologist Daniel Rubenstein, who has been studying the species for the past 15 years.

According to Rubenstein, in zebra society, although the stallion defends his harem from danger and harassment, "the mares generally call the shots". Mmmm - makes you think! Definitely worth a read.

Just wondering if anyone has tried dowloading any of the electronic postcards I've made? Here's what the reverse side of the card looks like once you've added your message. If you don't "lock" your text, the recipient can edit the card, write a new message and send it again.

But you do need to download a plug-in to view the cards, which can be an obstacle. If anyone has tried downloading and sending any of the cards, I'd love to hear from you. I'm not going to add them as a permanent feature if they're too much of a hassle.

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