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Namibia Fish River Canyon

the biggest in Africa, maybe the world

11th September Fish River Canyon

After a filling breakfast we left Kalahari Anib Lodge to head on south. It was back onto the B1 and past Mariental. En route a large group of baboons decided to park themselves in the middle of the road; a bit of a surprise. Shortly before Keetmanshoop we saw signs to the Garas Farm Quivertree Forest and decided to stop for a look.
Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) is a large monkey with a dog-like face and large, prominent canines, which give a more aggressive appearance than other primates. The chacma baboon lives in family groups of up to 150 individuals, with no single dominant male. Baboons are extremely common in central Namibia, often be seen on the side of the road. It is probably easier to list the food baboons don't eat as opposed to catalogue what is does. They forage for grass, seeds, roots, bulbs, flowers, bark, mushrooms, fruit, insects, small vertebrates and eggs. Grass is their most important item, which might go some way to explain why they forage around human areas, especially towards the end of the dry season. Regular access to drinking water is essential to their survival. There is a wide range of colour of individuals, which depends on sex, age and location. In Namibia they are often a 'grizzled' yellowish brown with a blackish band along the back, on the crown of the head and back. The male has a distinctive bright blue scrotum. Baboons do not have a definite breeding season and are sexually active throughout the year. Gestation is six months, after which a single young is born. Males measure 1.6m and weigh up to 45 kg; females 20 kg.
A fascinating attraction near Keetmanshoop: A large Quivertree Forest with thousands of quiver trees, close to Mesosaurus fossils and a picturesque dolerite rock field.
Aloidendron dichotomum, formerly Aloe dichotoma, the quiver tree or kokerboom, is a tall, branching species of succulent plant, indigenous to Southern Africa, specifically Northern South Africa, and Southern Namibia. Known as choje to the indigenous San, the quiver tree gets its English name from their practice of hollowing out the tubular branches to form quivers for their arrows. The dichotomum refers to how the stems repeatedly branch into two ("dichotomous" branching) as the plant grows. This species was moved to the genus Aloidendron as Aloidendron dichotomum in 2013. Three separate species, A. dichotomum (vulnerable), A. pillansii (critically endangered) and A. ramosissimum (endangered) inhabit the same arid areas of the Richtersveld/ Namib Desert. The three species can be distinguished; A. pillansii inflorescences hangs below the lowest leaves, rather than growing erect; A. ramosissimum is smaller, rarely more than 2m and more shrub-like shape. A. pillansii has a different flowering time and therefore can not interbreed with the other two species. One of the few examples of spontaneous forests of A. dichotomum is the Quiver Tree Forest,14 km north of Keetmanshoop, in Namibia. Throughout much of its range this species is in decline. A. dichotomum lives in arid areas; its slow growth, hard habitat and relative rarity makes it difficult to keep outside of its natural habitat. Quiver Tree Forest (Kokerboom Woud in Afrikaans) is located on the road to Koës, on Gariganus farm. It comprises about 250 specimens of Aloidendron dichotomum. The forest is spontaneous; the tallest trees are two to three centuries old. The forest was declared a national monument of Namibia in 1995. The quiver tree is also known for looking upside down because the "leaves" look somewhat similar to roots. This tree is supposed to bring good luck to anybody that worships and nurtures it. San people say that if one of these trees is dug up, one will get diamonds in their lifetime, but since the trees are sacred nobody wants to dig them up. As part of the forest, there is geological natural interest, the Giant's Playground, a vast pile of large dolerite rocks.
We arrived in Keetmanshoop, a larger town than we expected, and filled up with petrol, before heading on the B4 towards Lüderitz. It wasn’t long, maybe 25km, before we turned left, off the nice tarmac of the B4, onto the sandy D545 towards Naute Dam. This “road” was a rather windy, undulating track and near the dam had the added difficulty of occasionally being a flooded muddy mess. A brief turn leftish (not signposted) onto the C12 (with a crossed fingers we were on the right road as the GPS said we’d left the road entirely), then, thank heavens, after 50km a signpost to turn right towards Canyon Roadhouse on the C37 (about 15km). Due to the speed we could drive we arrived just after lunch (5hrs, 400km), but they were more than happy (a friendly bunch) to give us a late lunch snack. https://store.gondwana-collection.com/accommodation/canyon-roadhouse
The lodge, which we discovered had recently been taken over by the Gondwana collection (same as Kalahari Anib) was in the middle of nowhere (goodness knows where the staff come from), filled with super friendly staff. Resembling a roadhouse of old with a large red roof, The Canyon Roadhouse is a veritable treasure-house and 'must-do' stop when visiting the canyon. The outside area hints of the wonderland interior with its rusty old Chevys and Fords from a bygone era, adorned with corky quiver trees and desert flora. The large doors open onto a truck serving as the reception desk, a 'pompstasie' (filling station) bar and assortment of classic vehicles and transport paraphernalia assembled with an innovative and creative flair - and a good deal of humour! Restaurant tables are placed in between and the cabs of several cars serve as zany fireplaces in the chilly winter months. Large attractive rooms, positioned around courtyards have en-suite bathrooms, double beds, a/c and mosquito nets. The lodge is interestingly decorated with old car parts found in the region. Antiques adorn the inside, such as an old gas burning stove with a beaten copper kettle on top. Out back there is a swimming pool and sun-deck, tucked in between indigenous succulents such as hoodias and aloes. Sunset is best appreciated from the hill above the lodge looking out onto the flat-topped Holoog Mountain and the Gondwana Canyon Park. A sundowner drive and walks on their unguided trails can be organised at Canyon Roadhouse, a perfect base to explore the wonders of Namibia's Fish River Canyon.
We decided to try their trail so Steve asked for directions. Easy, just a 5k walk, follow the painted footprints…. which turned out to be a 10k walk, although generally the footprints were there. Past the campsite, up a hill for the view, along the escarpment which opened to a vast plateau, a stop at Archway Rock for the view, a surprise (and surprised) herd of zebra, before circling back to our hotel. I was interested in the strange rocks in the park, which I later found to be gneiss, a common metamorphic rock formed by high-temperature and high-pressure metamorphic processes acting on formations composed of igneous or sedimentary rocks. Gneiss forms at higher temperatures and pressures than schist and nearly always has a banded texture characterised by alternating darker and lighter coloured bands and without a distinct cleavage. Gneisses are common in the ancient crust of continental shields. Some of the oldest rocks on Earth are gneisses, such as the Acasta Gneiss. Gneisses that are metamorphosed igneous rocks are termed granite gneisses, diorite gneisses, etc. Gneiss rocks may also be named after a characteristic component such as garnet gneiss, biotite gneiss, albite gneiss, etc. Orthogneiss is a gneiss from an igneous rock, and paragneiss from a sedimentary rock.
The were a surprising number of flowering plants and we became quite good at spotting them. These included Devil's thorn flower (Tribulus zeyheri) in the family Zygophyllaceae, found in diverse climates and soils worldwide from latitudes 35°S to 47°N. Tribulus species are perennial. The flowers are perfect (hermaphroditic) and insect-pollinated, with fivefold symmetry. Another was a pretty Karoo Violet (Aptosimum), as well as a tiny aloe plant between the rocks.
History of Gondwana Canyon Park. The area of the park was originally utilised for extensive sheep farming which resulting in over grazing, a common problem in the arid south of Namibia. This, paired with annual average rainfall of 100 ml led to the destruction of the flora. In 1996 a group of Namibians bought the farms and converted it to a protected nature reserve. A team of rangers was trained, sheep farming was abandoned and local game was re-introduced. Fences within the reserve were taken down to grand roaming space to the wildlife and new watering holes for the wildlife were created. Today the Gondwana Canyon Park covers an area of more than 125.000 hectare. Visitors can enjoy watching giraffes, mountain zebras, oryx antelopes, kudus, springbuck, ostriches, a leopard and other local species all adapted to the harsh climate. The ranger team is convinced that a major part of the original flora has recovered and that the measures taken for re-cultivating the area were successful. Income generated by the 4 lodges and the park fees is invested directly into the conservation of the Gondwana Canyon Park.
The restaurant tables were all attached to old cars and trucks, and the food was hearty (Steve naturally tried their famous Amarula Cheesecake). We were very glad we’d decided to do the Sundown tour the next evening because it blew a gale from early evening on.
Plain Sand Lizard (Pedioplanis inornata) is a small species endemic to Namibia. It is similar in size to Waterberg sand lizard with the tail just over twice the length of the head and body, grey-brown back with a network of pale green spots on the sides. It can be observed foraging around succulent vegetation on open bedrock surfaces on the lower reaches of mountains in South-west Namibia from Orange River to Swakopmund. It feeds on small insects.

Khoekhoen (sing Khoekhoe) (Khoikhoi; formerly Hottentots) are the traditionally nomadic pastoralist indigenous population of southwestern Africa, often grouped with the hunter-gatherer San (lit "Foragers"). "Khoekhoe" is not an ethnic endonym, but has been used as an ethnic term for Khoe-speaking peoples of Southern Africa, particularly pastoralist groups, such as the !Ora, !Gona, Nama, Xiri and ǂNūkhoe nations. While the presence of Khoekhoen in Southern Africa predates the Bantu expansion, based on linguistic evidence, it is not clear when they began inhabiting the areas (possibly the Late Stone Age). By the 17th century, the Khoekhoen maintained large herds of Nguni cattle in the Cape region. The Khoekhoe language is related to certain dialects spoken by foraging San peoples of the Kalahari, such as the Khwe and Tshwa, forming the Khoe language family. The main Khoekhoe subdivisions today are the Nama of Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, the ǂNūkhoeǃhaos of Namibia, the !Orana of South Africa, the Xirikua or Griekwa of South Africa, and the AmaGqunukhwebe or !Gona who fall under Xhosa-speaking polities. The Xirikua clans (Griqua) developed their own identity in the 19th century and settled Griqualand. They are related to the Rehoboth Basters.
The broad ethnic designation of "Khoekhoen", ie peoples originally of a pastoral culture and language group across Southern Africa, refers to a population originating in northern Botswana and spreading south. "Khoekhoe" include ǀAwakhoen and ǀKx'abakhoena; both mean "Red People", equivalent to the IsiXhosa term "amaqaba". Husbandry of sheep, goats and cattle grazing in fertile valleys across the region allowed them to spread, with larger groups forming in a region previously occupied by subsistence foragers. Ntu-speaking agriculturalists entered in the 3rd century AD, pushing pastoralists west. The close relation between ǃUriǁ’aes (High clan), a cattle keeping population, and the !Uriǁ’aeǀ’ona (High clan children), a more sedentary forager population (aka "Strandlopers"), both occupying ǁHuiǃgaeb, shows that a distinction between “Khoekhoe pastoralists”, “San hunter-gatherers” and “Bantu agriculturalists” does not hold up to scrutiny. Khoe-speaking people traded with seafarers for centuries, going back into ancient times, and this undoubtedly included some Europeans, perhaps even Romans, although Portuguese explorers and merchants are the first to record contact in the 15th C. In 1510 Battle of Salt River, Francisco de Almeida and fifty of his men were killed by ox-mounted !Uriǁ’aekua ("Goringhaiqua" Dutch spelling), one of the Khoekhoe clans, probably ancestors of the !Ora nation. In the late 16th century, Portuguese, French, Danish, Dutch and English ships regularly stopped in Table Bay en route to the Indies to trade tobacco, copper and iron for fresh meat. Local population dropped after smallpox was spread by Europeans. Military conflict intensified with colonial expansion as the United East India Company (Dutch) began to enclose traditional grazing land for farms. Khoe-speaking people were driven off, resulting in migration, and the dissolution of many traditional structures. Many Khoekhoen settled on farms and became bondsmen; or were incorporated into clans that persisted. Georg Schmidt, a Moravian Brother from Saxony, founded Genadendal in 1738, in the Riviersonderend Mountains. The colonial "Baasters" came to refer to any clan that had European ancestry in some part and adopted Western culture, later known as Griqua (Xirikua, Griekwa) eg the Baster community of Rehoboth, Namibia. In the late 18th century, Oorlam communities migrated north to escape Dutch conscription, to Namaqualand and settled places earlier occupied by the Nama. Some of these emigrants, led by outlaw Jager Afrikaner and his son Jonker Afrikaner, retained links to Oorlam communities. In the face of Boer expansion, Jonker Afrikaner brought his people into Namaqualand by the mid-19th century, leading Oorlam domination over the Nama and Hereros. 1904-07, the Germans fought Khoekhoe living in South-West Africa. Over 10,000 Nama, more than half the Nama, died in the conflict, the greatest massacre ever of the Khoekhoe people.
The religion of Khoe-speaking cultures gives special significance to the Moon, as the physical manifestation of a supreme being associated with heaven. Thiǁoab (Tsui'goab) is the creator and the guardian of health, while ǁGaunab is primarily an evil being, who causes sickness or death.
Khoekhoe people are classified into two groups: Northern Khoekhoe (mainly Namibia) & Southern or Cape Khoekhoe (South Namibia/ SA)
Northern Khoekhoe/ Nama/ Namaqua have 11 clans. Among the Namaqua are the Oorlams, a southern Khoekhoe mixed-race people that trekked north over the Orange River and absorbed Nama identity. Oorlams are made up of 5 small clans. The Namaqua inhabit the Great Namaqualand region of Namibia. There are also minor Namaqua clans in Little Namaqualand regions south of the Orange River in South Africa.

12th September Fish River Canyon

Hikers viewpoint
We had booked the morning drive to Fish River Canyon, and were the only people, which was even better! The guide looked askance at our clothing and it turned out to be rather colder than we’d expected at first. Thanks goodness for the included rugs! The open 4x4 took us through Gondwana Park first, where Steve managed to loose his hat (a normal occurrence for him!), but we re-found it. The guide explained how this area had originally been filled with enormous farms, mainly of cattle and goats, whose grazing the ecosystem cannot manage. The farmers have now been bought off and removed, so the region is slowly regenerating. Then we entered Fish River Canyon through the Hobas Gate to pay our fees. Our guide-driver drove us along the canyon edge (actually quite close at some points), past the few other tourists (in minibuses) to the Hike start point. This gave an amazing view of the whole area, almost at sunrise, so the shadows and light were great.
He dropped us off and we walked along the canyon edge (in the opposite direction to all the other people) to end at the view point.

After a short break, he decided to drive us off the beaten track to a variety of different viewpoints (none on any established track), some of which even he had never visited before. He was particularly interested in the local euphorbia.
Euphorbia is a very large and diverse genus of flowering plants, commonly called spurge, in the family Euphorbiaceae. Euphorbias range from tiny annual plants to large and long-lived trees. The genus has roughly 2,000 members, one of the largest genera of flowering plants, as well as one of the largest ranges of chromosome counts. Euphorbia antiquorum is the type species for the genus. Succulent euphorbias from the deserts of Southern Africa have evolved physical characteristics and forms similar to cacti of America, through convergent evolution. Euphorbia all have a poisonous, latex-like sap and unique floral structures. When viewed as a whole, the head of flowers looks like a single flower (pseudanthium). It has a unique pseudanthium, called a cyathium, where each flower in the head is reduced to its barest essential part needed for sexual reproduction. Individual flowers are either male or female, with the male flowers reduced to only the stamen, and the females to the pistil. There are no petals, or other parts typical of flowers in other plants. It is the only genus of plants that has all three kinds of photosynthesis, CAM, C3, C4. The milky sap (latex) evolved as a deterrent to herbivores. It is white, and transparent when dry. The pressurised sap seeps from the slightest wound and congeals after a few minutes in air. The skin-irritating and caustic effects are largely caused by varying amounts of diterpenes, triterpenes such as betulin and corresponding esters. In contact with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), the latex produces extremely painful inflammation, including mild to extreme Keratouveitis, which affects vision. Latex on skin should be washed off immediately; congealed latex is insoluble in water, but can be removed with soap. Severe eye damage including permanent blindness may result from exposure to the sap
As we began back we covered increasingly difficult terrain, from loose gravel like soil, to flat salt pans and black fine-grain soil with little to no vegetation. The ground became extremely undulating and we almost stranded the vehicle on the top on one hillock! In the wet season the area would have been fairly impassable, given the number of dried or nearly dried up rivulets.
The Fish River Canyon features a gigantic ravine, in total about 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 m deep. Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. It cuts deep into the plateau which is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought-resistant plants. The river flows intermittently, flooding in late summer; the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools. The hot springs resort of Ai-Ais is at the lower end of the Fish River Canyon. Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon worldwide after Grand Canyon in the USA. The Canyon forms part of the state-run IAis-IAis/ Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. Entrance to the Park is situated 10 km from the well-known view point Hell`s Bend at Hobas Restcamp where visitors have to report. The Canyon/ Fish River Hiking Trail can be conducted during Apr–Sept and completed within 4 to 5 days. It covers a length of 85 km and the descent into the Canyon is only allowed for hikers doing the trail; day-visitors are not allowed. Fish River is 800 km long and thus the longest river of Namibia. Its source is the eastern Naukluft Mountains. After 200 km the river flows into Hardap Dam which is the largest water reservoir of the country with a circumference of 30 km and a surface area of 28 km². Fish River does not carry water continuously, only during the rainy season the river turns into a torrent. During the dry season sporadic pools supply water to many animals. Fish River Canyon commences at Seeheim, at the lower course of the River. The Canyon is 161 km long, 27 km wide and up to 550m deep. Fish River Canyon ends at Ai Ais and the river then flows into the Orange River, the border to South Africa. The oldest rocks in Namibia (gneiss) were cut by the Fish River over a billion years ago. A mighty mountain range eroded down to a vast plain flooded by the ocean 650 mya. Then 350 mya the formation of Fish River Canyon started. A vast graben formed along old tectonic faults and formed the broad ancient valley of the Fish River. The graben edges, more than 20 km apart, today form the upper edges of the canyon. After the formation of the graben structure 300 mya the riverbed was still 300 m higher than today. The Gondwana-Glaciation glaciers further deepened the graben. With the separation of Gondwana 120 mya and the uplifting of the African continent the gradient of Fish River increased allowing it to erode even deeper into the rock. Today the deepest point of the canyon is 549 m.
Wild Fig Bend
Fish River canyon consists of an upper canyon, where river erosion was inhibited by hard gneiss bedrocks, and a lower canyon formed after erosion had finally worn through the gneiss. Upstream, the river runs through horizontal dolomite strata; metamorphic rocks that formed part of the canyon. About 650 million years ago (Mya), plate movement formed a north-south graben (lowered area), along which the ancient Fish River could flow and eventually erode a flat plain, today's upper canyon. Glaciation at 300 Mya, part of the Dyka glaciation during the Karoo Ice Age, further deepened the canyon. About 60 Mya, South America and Africa (as Gondwana) separated and Africa rose significantly; the consequentially increased gradient of Fish River enabled it to erode the lower canyon into the hard gneisses, forming the current deeply twisting, meandering system of the lower canyon.
Descent to Sulphur Springs through sand and boulders (2 pics); Sulphur Springs to Three Sisters over river stones and firmer ground (2 pics); Three Sisters to Ai-Ais via wider canyon and to trail end (2 pics)
The trail starts from the car park 13km west from Hobas. The descent is steep and chains are provided to assist hikers over the first 100m. Thereafter the unmarked path follows a gravel trail to the beach at the bottom. The trail can be divided into three notable sections:
The descent down to Sulphur Springs (aka Palm Springs) through the narrowest section of the canyon, layered with big boulders, rocks and deep sand making hiking slow.
The route from Sulphur Springs to Three Sisters on firmer ground with river stones and frequent river crossings. At 50km an optional crossing of Kooigoed Ridge to Barble Pools and German Soldier's grave via Vasbyt Nek.
From Three Sisters to ǀAi-ǀAis the canyon widens out. Optional Bandage Pass between Causeway and Fools Gold Corner.
We got back in time for a late lunch outside, followed by a leisurely coffee on the room patio. In the tree was a group of African Red-Eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus nigricans). They live in a wide range of habitats that include arid and semi-arid regions, as long as there is water and patches of trees and shrubs. This includes dry woodland, riverine bush and shrubby watercourses. They are a common visitor to gardens in drier regions of Namibia, usually grateful for a full bird bath to drink from. Blackish (nigricans) dark chin and throat. Often mistaken for the dark-capped bulbul which has black, not orange, eye rings. This species also has a thickly feathered (Pycnonotus) back. Distribution: Common and widespread throughout Namibia except the southern Namib Desert. Diet: Will eat a wide variety of fruits, swallowing berries whole. Also eats flower petals and probes flowers for nectar. Partial to spiders and insects as well. Breeding: Usually 2 or 3 eggs are laid between December and February in a nest made of dry grass and twigs, held together by spider web. Size: 20cm. Weight: 30g. We set off with same driver for our Sundowner tour at 4pm, this time well clothed!
Experience the wild expanse of Gondwana Canyon Park; Namibia’s Eden. Sundowner Drive Gondwana Canyon: 3 hr drive to acquaint yourself with the geology, flora, fauna ND692 (€40) evening drive huge grasshopper, vultures, jackal, over grazed areas.
We crossed straight over the road from the lodge into the private Gondwana Canyon Park, and drove directly into the bush. Initially we saw mainly zebra, ostrich and groups of antelopes (mainly springbok, impala and oryx), through an area of shrub and low trees. Some larger quiver trees had ENORMOUS Social weaver nests in them. As we drove towards the hills we saw several large birds of prey, mainly eagles, using the evening currents to soar over their preying fields. Heading then towards more open grassland, we saw several herds of various antelope types. Something (not us) had spooked them and they were going hell-for-leather in front of us, then suddenly stopped, looked around as if surprised they were running and proceeded to start grazing again. As we continued the guide stopped by a small fenced area where the farmers used to corral their goats. In the two decades since they had left the area was still totally barren; mainly due to their urine. Towards the escarpment base we heard an odd owl-like noise; a pair of hunting jackals, said our guide. Very lucky to see them!
Side-Striped Jackal (Canis adustus) superficially resembles its more well-known cousin, the black-backed jackal, due to its white-tipped tail and similar size. They hunt alone or in pairs, in a territory they defend. Its snout is blunter and ears shorter than the black-backed, and they favour plains. Unlike the black-backed jackal, it avoids open savannah grassland. Main peaks of activity are just before sunrise and at dusk. Owl-like and explosive hoots are a part of their varied vocal repertoire. They eat less than other jackals, with wild fruit a favourite, as are small mammals and insects and occasionally reptiles. Carrion will be eaten if found. They have a greyish coat with a white-tipped tail and a white stripe on their flanks. Litters consist of 4-6, born in holes in the ground, usually disused aardvark holes, with an added second entrance.
Heading towards higher ground was a large acacia tree with a magnificent pair of Lappet-faced vultures. They let us approach quite close before finally taking off. Funnily we saw them later in another part of the park.
Lappet-Faced Vultures (Aegypius tracheliotus) inhabit open woodland in dry and semi-dry regions often with acacia trees, shepherds tree and mopane. Waterholes and pans are a great location to view these vultures, usually late morning to afternoon, roosting singly or in pairs. Lappet-faced vultures spend much of their time in flight gliding and soaring, as opposed to flapping their wings. They live throughout Namibia inc Etosha Park, Namib and Kalahari Deserts. They tend to arrive at carcasses later than most other vultures when they dominate the feeding proceedings, but will eat anything from vervet monkey to antelope, elephant to domestic stock. They have strong, deep bills, strong feet, long toes, long broad wings 2.5m, but a relatively short neck with a ruff of short brown feathers.Tracheliotus is a Greek meaning for 'gristly ears' a reference to the head and neck wattles. They make stick nests up to 2m long lined with dry grass.
After another hour or so, during which the most enormous grasshopper landed on me, we stopped at the top of the escarpment by a beautiful quiver tree. The sunset was truly amazing, the best we saw in Namibia, with every colour you could imagine from red, orange and yellow to intense violet, indigo, blue and finally to black studded with stars (and a wonderful view of the Southern cross). As we drove back an aardwolf crossed our road, but no photo in the dark (shame!)
Acanthoplus discoidalis is a species in the Hetrodinae, a subfamily of the katydid family (Tettigoniidae). Common names inc armoured katydid, armoured ground cricket, corn cricket, setotojane and koringkriek. The species is native to Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. The common names are misleading; the species is not closely related to true crickets. It is a wide-bodied, flightless species that typically grows to a body length of about 5 cm. The pronotum bears several sharp, conical spines. The mandibles are powerful; they can inflict a painful nip and they permit the insect to feed on material such as tough herbage or carrion. A defense against predators is reflex bleeding (autohaemorrhaging) in which they squirt haemolymph from pores in their exoskeleton, achieving a range of a few centimetres. Another defensive response is to regurgitate their stomach contents when attacked. A. discoidalis is omnivorous and feeds opportunistically on many different foods. When their diet is deficient in protein, members commonly become cannibalistic.

Posted by PetersF 14:04 Archived in Namibia Tagged animals fish desert sunset canyon river namibia

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