E is for Elephant

Can I complete the whole of Round 9 of ABC Wednesday based on our four week stay in South Africa in February? Click on the photos to enlarge.

Addo ElephantI wrote about our elephant spotting endeavours under A is for Addo, but I didn’t reveal all because I had to save something for E is for Elephant.

As I mentioned back then, we had trouble spotting any elephants in the vastness of the Addo National Park until by good fortune we came across a matriarchal group with their youngsters.

There were at least a dozen of them, ruled over by the grandmother of the group who stood for no nonsense when any of the younger males became too frisky, smacking them hard with her trunk.

Addo ElephantsAt one point a young male attempted to mount an even younger female which brought down the wrath of mum. Elephantine parental discipline is quick and fierce and the male was left in no doubt that such indecent behaviour would not be tolerated.

We’d turned the car round ready to leave when two other males decided to have a duel that involved them going head to head and trying to push the other backwards.

All they succeeded in doing was to sway around in a circle, like two drunks half-heartedly brawling on a dance floor, but it had us fearing for safety of our hire car and we beat a hasty retreat.

DassieThe photo on the left is one I took of a dassie (pron. dussie) basking in the sun at the Cape of Good Hope. Believe it or not, this furry guinea pig-looking mammal is the closest living relative of the elephant.

The dassie is a rock hyrax (like those featured by Dina last week), and along with dugongs and manatees, it shares a common ancestor with the elephant, a mammal about the size of a modern day pig that lived 50 to 60 million years ago.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

13 comments… Add yours
  • Ann 16th August 2011

    Good for Mama Elephant, someone has to keep those young boys in line. hehehe… Enjoyed your E Entry today.

  • Denise 16th August 2011

    Wow! Love the theme you have set – look forward to following your trip….. my theme is DIY hmmmm know who has chosen the most exciting theme! lol!
    Denise ABC Team

  • rog 17th August 2011

    interesting animal genealogy!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Rajesh 17th August 2011

    Wow! I am sure it would have been wonderful experience.

  • Reader Wil 17th August 2011

    You can write in such a way that I see the youngsters being naughty and punished by mum, as if I had been there myself.
    Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Francisca 17th August 2011

    I like your elephant story, they’re one of my favorite animals, although I could not tell you why I favour them. Same with geckos. Yet your dassie intrigues… and it sure does look like Dina’s rock hyrax! I’ll never understand how science put elephants and dassies into the same family.

  • Carver 17th August 2011

    I had no idea about elephants closest relative. Great shots of the elephants and an interesting post. To answer your question the bridge in my post is a drawbridge to let boats through.

  • Dhemz 17th August 2011

    great choice! neat composition….:)

  • Mar 17th August 2011

    Enjoyed your elephant story and picture for the theme!!

  • Wanda 17th August 2011

    Wonderful pictures, and narrative. Really good read.

  • JayLeigh 17th August 2011

    Oh, what an awesome adventure!! My children and I just watched a video about elephants last night, and they are such amazing creatures.

  • Joy 17th August 2011

    Lovely to watch, from a distance! I’d never head of a rock hyrax, fascinating.

  • Jo Bryant 18th August 2011

    I love the rock hyrax, I was lucky enough to see some in the wild – so engaging


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