50|50 Episode 17 Season 8: 30 July 2017
Wildebure: Hadeda ibis
If we had to ask you what sound do you most associate with South African gardens, parks and rooftops, many people would have the same answer – the noisy hadeda. Pest, charming oddity or just background noise, this bird is a feathered phenomenon in most of suburban South Africa.
Wonderwêreld: Namaqua chameleon
A few weeks ago we featured a story on the desert-adapted elephants of the Namib. In this week’s Wonderwêreld we continue on our journey through this incredible wilderness as we showcase the lives of a much smaller desert dweller, the Namaqua chameleon. Having evolved several adaptations to cope with desert conditions, they excrete salt from their nasal glands to conserve water and use their ability to change colour to aid in controlling temperature. Unlike their arboreal cousins, their tails are not prehensile, as they evolved without the need for an extra tree-climbing limb.
These days, most people perceive pigeons, especially the ones living in towns, as creatures with an amazing ability to make a mess on a freshly washed car or windowsill. However, if we cast our mind’s eye back just a few generations, these birds were viewed in a totally different light. During both world wars, pigeons held the rank of Captain. They were released from behind enemy lines and often they were the only means of communication available, used to deliver messages vital to the war effort and the lives of many depended on their success at delivering these. The incredible physical characteristics of pigeons are still relevant in modern times, and they are the star athletes in the lucrative sport of pigeon racing. Hermien brings you the whole story.
The chase is on in this week’s VeldFokus, with lions charging in from all directions after prey and pesky scavengers. A lioness has her sights set of a tall meal, while a male lion has to contend with a thieving jackal.