Mammals of Botswana and surrounding areas, by Veronica Roodt
This excerpt gives an idea of the style of plant description in the guide Wild flowers, waterplants and grasses of the Okavango Delta and Kalahari written by Veronica Roodt.
Digestive systems: Herbivores, the ruminant stomach
Ruminants are foregut fermenters and have evolved a superior ability to convert cellulose and fibres to digestible matter by remasticating their food (chewing the cud) and by allowing micro-organisms in the rumen to complete the process. Mouth: Digestion begins in the mouth where large quantities of saliva are mixed with the food. The saliva has a digestive enzyme that is responsible for the digestion of starch. The saliva is also responsible for the alkalisa-tion of the food. A high alkalinity is necessary to minimise the possibility of bloat, the latter being caused mainly by a high acid content of the food. A large bovine produces as much as 200 litres of saliva per day during the feeding process - just imagine - a large 200 litre drum full of saliva! The ruminant stomach consists of the following: Rumen, a roughly s-shaped sac which is the largest of the four stomachs and which is lined with a myriad of tiny finger-like protuberances. Reticulum 'honeycomb', which is lined with hexagonal ridges. Omasum, which is sometimes called the prayer-book or leaf stomach because of the page-like structure. Abomasum, which is similar to the ordinary stomach of a non-ruminant such as a pig or a horse.
Rumen: The ruminant eats as fast as possible and does not waste much time chewing because of its vulnerable position while feeding - head down in the case of grazers. The rumen can be described as a kind of storage organ, which, in the case of grazers, comprises as much as 15-20 % of the total body weight. In large bovines this may amount to a volume of 180 litres. It is in fact much more than a storage organ because apart from storing the food, the rumen contracts rhythmically to mix the food. It also acts as a filter operating on the principle of specific gravity where the smaller food particles sink to the bottom and the larger parts float in the upper layers. From there the food re-enters the oesophagus and goes back to the mouth for remastication. Millions of minute animal and plant organisms (protozoa, bacteria and yeast cells) exist in the rumen and their main function is to break down tough plant material such as cellulose and lignin - a function that the normal digestive juices are not able to fulfil. When the organisms reach the end of their life, they are absorbed as additional protein. Reticulum: This has very much the same function as the rumen and the two are often referred to as the reticulorumen.
Omasum: It is also known as the 'leaf-stomach' where the food is ground into fine particles. Abomasum: It is similar to the stomach of other animals and here digestive juices are added for the first time to complete the process. The food goes into the small intestine from where it is absorbed. The small intestine in some ruminants is extremely long, about 43m in the wildebeest. The abomasum is also called the 'milk-stomach' because when a calf suckles or when an animal drinks water, the liquid goes straight to the abomasum via the oesophageal groove. It is also possible to administer medicine directly to the stomach via the groove by first administering blue-stone orally to the animal, which causes the groove to close for a while. Otherwise the chemical composition of the medicine may be altered in the rumen.
Side-striped jackal (Canis adustus)
Order: CARNIVORA Suborder: CANIFORMIA Family: CANIDAE
Setswana: Rantalaje; Afrikaans: Witkwasjakkals; German: Streifenschakal; French: Le Chacal à flancs rayés; Spanish: Chacal estriado en los flancos; Italian: Sciacallo
Habitat: Side-striped jackals prefer thickly wooded areas, unlike the Black-backed jackal that occurs in arid, open savanna grassland.
Social unit: They form monogamous pairs and family groups.
Food for pups: While the pups are very small the male will bring food for the female. Both parents regurgitate food for the pups at first. Once they start to eat solids, the adults carry food to the den for them.
Voice: Apart from howling, they also yap and make an owl-like hoot. The San believe they make this hooting sound when closely following a hunting lion and playing with its tail.
Activity: Unlike the Black-backed jackal, they are strictly nocturnal. The white tip of the tail hints to this because it makes it easier for them to follow each other at night.
Dens: They live in old termite mounds and aardvark holes. The breeding chamber is ±1m under the surface and ±2m from the entrance. There is usually an additional escape entrance.
Disease: They suffer from distemper and thousands died during the Kenya epidemic (1906-1907). They also suffer from tick fever caused by the tick Babesia canis.
Superstition: In East Africa many tribes believe that jackals act as the vehicle for evil spirits sent from the gods. By killing any species of jackal, a blood relation-ship is formed with all jackals, preventing any evil spirits from reaching them. It is even acceptable if the jackal is run over by a car. Jackals are often associated with death and spirituality. This probably dates back to corpses on ancient battlefields and the jackal's presence as a scavenger.
General data: Shoulder height: m/f ±38cm. Weight: m ±8-12kg, f ±7-10kg. Gestation: ±2-272 months. Life span: ±11 years. Litter size: Two to six. Habitat: Well watered areas in moist woodland. Food: Carrion, wild fruit, small animals, rodents, birds. Water requirements: Usually get enough from their food, also drink. Social structure: Monogamous pairs and family groups. Sexual differences: Males are slightly larger than females. Active period: Nocturnal, also active at dusk and dawn. Enemies: Lion, leopard, hyaena. Voice: Yapping, a 'bwaa' sound and a very typical hoot. Dentition: I3/3 C1/1 P4/4 M2/3 = 42
This is an example of animal description in the guide Mammals of Botswana and surrounding areas, by Veronica Roodt.
Title: Mammals of Botswana and surrounding areas
Author: Veronica Roodt
Veronica Roodt Publications
Hartbeespoort, South Africa 2011
Softcover, 17x24 cm, 125 pages, throughout colour photos and images
Roodt, Veronica im Namibiana-Buchangebot
This is a easy-to-use guidebook to mammals of Botswana and surrounding areas including information on anatomy, physiology, skulls, spoors and droppings.
Grasses and Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna is a guide to 100 grass species and to the grazers that feed on them.
This perfect set includes five Shell maps to all regions of Botswana and The Shell Tourist Travel and Field Guide of Botswana.
Dieser Satz Shell-Karten von Botswana umfaßt die Hauptkarte von Botswana und je eine Karte von Chobe, Moremi, Okavango und Linyanti sowie vom Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
This is a easy-to-use guidebook to mammals of Kruger National Park and surrounding Bushveld including information on skulls, spoors and droppings.
Includes all the common herbaceous (nonwoody) plants, wild flowers, waterplants and grasses of the Okavango Delta, Chobe, Makgadikgadi pans and the Kalahari.
Expert Veronica Roodt introduces grasses of the Kruger National Park and the surrounding Bushveld.
Wie alle Karten aus der Serie von Veronica Roodt, basiert auch die Tourist Map of the National Park Lake Manyara auf Satellitenaufnahmen.
Die Tourist Map of Tarangire National Park in Tansania stammt aus der Ostafrika-Kartenserie von Veronica Rood.
Veronica Rood hat mit der Tourist Map of Arusha National Park eine beliebte und gut zu lesende Karte geschaffen.
Veronica Roodt’s Tourist Map of Kilimanjaro National Park ist auf Satellitenaufnahmen aufgebaut und mit einem kräftigen, gut lesbaren Kartendesign versehen.
Die Karte Tourist Map of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area ist mit Satellitenbildern hinterlegt und mit kräftigen Kartenmerkmalen versehen.
Die Serengeti-Karte Tourist Map of Serengeti National Park ist auf Grundlage von Satellitenbildern erstellt und bietet sieben weitere Ausschnittskarten des Nationalparks.
Veronica Roodt’s travel and field guide of Ngorongoro Conservation Area is made for tourists seeking for nature impressions.
Veronica Roodt’s travel and field guide of the Serengeti National Park is consequently designed for tourists with an interest for Nature.
Die Shell Tourist Map of Botswana ist eine über viele Jahre ausgreifte, sehr zuverlässige Karte für den Urlaub in Botswana.
Common Wild Flowers of the Okavango Delta is not only an identification Guide but also explains their medicinal uses and nutritional value.
Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta is not only an identification Guide but also explains their medicinal uses and nutritional value.
The Shell Tourist Map of Okavango Delta and Linyanti stellt die Region im Maßstab 1:400.000 und auf der Grundlage von Satellitenbildern dar.
Die Shell Tourist Map of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park stellt die ehemaligen Gemsbok National Parks in verschiedenen Maßstäben und Karten vor.
The Shell Tourist Map of Moremi Game Reserve ist eine hervorragende Karte des 1963 gegründeten Wildreservat in Botswana.
The Shell Tourist Map of Chobe National Park ist eine verläßliche Reisekarte für den Chobe-Nationalpark in Botswana.
A combination of two reliable and leading products: The Shell Tourist Map of Botswana plus The Shell Tourist Travel and Field Guide of Botswana.