All animals are amazing from birth and live in a variety of unique environments. To survive in many of these environments, animals have adapted both according to behaviour and physical attributes.

You can most probably witness some of its adaptations just by looking at it – for example how it feeds, or how it moves and even protects itself. Different animals have various ways of trying to stay alive. Their adaptations are matched to their way of surviving. Each group of animals has its own way of adapting. An animal’s body markings is one clearly visible adaptation. Body markings help to protect animals in diverse environments.

Striped fur is one variation of a special adaptation called camouflage. Striped fur, in most cases, helps animals blend into their environment. This helps the animal in one of several ways, including hiding from predators and sneaking up on prey. Take the springbok for example, from birth it has an adaptation. It is very lightly coloured to keep it camouflaged from predators.  As it gets older, his belly will change to a pure white color. This change takes place to adapt to the harsh heat from the soil in the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn area.  The white colour reflects the heat away from its belly, protecting it from overheating.

The dark distinguishing stripe on a Springboks’ flank  is also a good example of adaptation.  When the temperature drops, one will always see a springbok standing to the side while facing the sun. The dark stripe absorbs the heat from the sun, preparing him for the day’s activities. The top part of a springbok is just for camouflage. The springbok also has black stripes just under it’s eyes. It usually feeds during the day and those black stripes will absorb the glare of the sun, for better sight during daytime.  An animal that feeds during the night will for example have white underneath its eyes, because it uses the reflection of moonlight to see better in the night.

That was just something about the adaptation of one animal, there is so much more about the adaptation of animals and I will keep updating interesting facts about this amazing occurrence in nature!

Introducing the Ranger:      Hanro Serfontein

From a young age he just wanted to be in the bushveld and so, after school, his parents sent him all the way to Limpopo to learn more about the bushveld. He had the privelage to work with rhinos, lions, leopards, survals, caracles and suricates. He also studied at Riversdal and became a certified guide . Hanro has a true passion for nature and according to him it will never change.