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Indirect effects of African megaherbivore conservation on bat diversity in the world’s oldest desert

In extreme environments, temperature and precipitation are often the main forces responsible for structuring ecological communities and species distributions. The role of biotic interactions is typically thought to be minimal. By clustering around rare and isolated features, like surface water, however, effects of herbivory by desert-dwelling wildlife can be amplified. Understanding how species interact in these environments is critical to safeguarding vulnerable or data-deficient species. We examined whether African elephants (Loxodonta africana), black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), and southern giraffe (Giraffa

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Cytauxzoonosis In A Giraffe [Giraffa Camelopardalis (Linnaeus, 1758)] In Zululand

Cytauxzoonosis is reported for the first time in a giraffe [Giraffa camelopardalis (Linnaeus, 1758)] that died naturally of the disease. Both histiotropic and erythrocytic parasites were found. The animal was very anaemic and had marked haemoglobinuria. The most significant lesions were disseminated foci of haemorrhage and necrosis, especially in the liver, spleen and abomasum. Multiple haemorrhages also occurred on both pleura and peritoneum, within and on the entire gastro-intestinal tract, on the surface of the kidneys, subepicardially and in the

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Zoonoses: a potential obstacle to the growing wildlife industry of Namibia

Zoonoses, which account for approximately 75% of emerging human infectious diseases worldwide, pose a re-emerging threat to public health. With an ever-increasing interrelationship between humans, livestock and wildlife species, the threat to human health will rise to unprecedented levels. Wildlife species contribute to the majority of emerging diseases; therefore, there is an urgent need to define control systems of zoonoses of wildlife origin but very little information exists. In this review, we examine prevalent zoonotic infections reported in Namibia between

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Skeletal dysplasia-like syndromes in wild giraffe

Objective: Skeletal dysplasias, cartilaginous or skeletal disorders that sometimes result in abnormal bone development, are seldom reported in free-ranging wild animals. Here, we use photogrammetry and comparative morphometric analyses to describe cases of abnormal appendicular skeletal proportions of free-ranging giraffe in two geographically distinct taxa: a Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis) in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda and an Angolan giraffe (Giraffa giraffa angolensis) on a private farm in central Namibia. Results: These giraffe exhibited extremely shortened radius and metacarpal

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The Mechanical and Material Designs of Composite Ju|’hoansi Arrowheads

In this paper, we elucidate the composite engineering design skills of the Kalahari Ju|’hoansi (San) people, developed over at least tens of thousands of years. In particular, we show that the mechanical and physical properties of materials used by the Ju|’hoansi in the design of arrowheads are intimately linked to their unique geometrical and composite designs. The Ju|’hoansi arrowheads have evolved to become complex engineered units with distinct function-specific purpose. We demonstrate herein that the geometrical designs of the arrowheads

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Archaeological Ochres of the Rock Art Site of Leopard Cave (Erongo, Namibia): Looking for Later Stone Age Sociocultural Behaviors

The use of ochre has been documented in many Middle Stone Age sites of Southern Africa. However, the literature on the exploitation of ochre within the archaeological contexts of Later Stone Age (LSA) rock art sites is scarce. Despite the discovery of several painted shelters within the Erongo Mountains (Namibia), no archaeological study of ochre assemblages has been conducted in the region. Here, we present the archaeological ochre assemblage recovered from a LSA sequence at the rock art shelter of

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Seasonal shifts in sociosexual behaviour and reproductive phenology in giraffe

Reproductive phenology (timing) is a heritable trait that confers a range of fitness or survival advantages. Giraffe (Giraffa spp.) breed year-round; however, some studies have suggested adaptive birth pulses, where demanding stages of reproduction coincide with seasonal increases in resource availability (phenological match). Here we use 3.5 years of demographic data to investigate the sociosexual behaviour and reproductive phenology of Angolan giraffe (G. g. angolensis) in the hyper arid northern Namib Desert, Namibia. We show that, in a highly seasonal

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Use of Datura innoxia by ungulates in the Hoanib River, Namibia

The behaviour of springbok Antidorcas marsupialis feeding on the alien invasive plant Datura innoxia is described, as well as nervous symptoms possibly arising from tropane alkaloid poisoning. Dung collected from five herbivore species prior to 1989 contained no D. innoxia seeds, and other signs of use of it were rare. Feeding on this plant, principally by springbok and gemsbok, is currently limited to the vicinity of the Hoanib River floodplain. This is the first record of use of D. innoxia

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Ecology of desert-dwelling giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis in northwestern Namibia

The population size and range of giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis have been greatly reduced in Africa in the past century, resulting in geographical isolation of local populations and some herds surviving at the edge of the species’ preferred range. Numerous factors have contributed to these declines, but historical analysis indicates that habitat loss and fragmentation, human encroachment, disease and poaching are the main threatening processes. These processes can be expected to continue to impact on giraffe populations, particularly as human populations

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Evolutionary Ecology of Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Etosha National Park, Namibia

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) occupies a variety of habitats across sub-Saharan Africa. It is characterised by a loose social organisation, and a dominance driven polygynous mating system. This project sought to explain biogeographic and inter-sexual variation in pelage colouration in the context of natural and sexual selection. I also sought to test the hypothesis that in a semi-arid environment, limited resources (food and water) would predictably concentrate females, increasing the potential for dominant males to monopolise matings. I analysed photos

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