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Nile Crocodile (click “video and sound”)

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1 Nile Crocodile (click “video and sound”)
Before Presentation Please preview these videos before Monday’s power point presentation. Dung Beetles Tsetse Flies Nile Crocodile (click “video and sound”)

2 Nile Crocodiles Adults can weigh over 1,000 pounds and measure 18 feet in length. Life expectancy: 45years in wild. 80 years in captivity. Parents protect nest site. Young make high pitched sound before hatching. This alerts parents. Parents dig up nest and assist young with hatching Mother scoops young from nest and transports young to water Mother protects young for two years Young feed on fish and insects. Adults eat up to half of body weight in one feeding. Use the link below to view a short clip of a mother croc and her young. On the page, click “Video & Sound”. Nile Crocodile attacking Wildebeest, Mara River, Masai Mara, Kenya Photo Credit: Paul McKenzie:

3 Chameleon Rock Agama Over 100 Species in Tanzania
Common in Serengeti but not usually seen More than 30 varieties Found on rocky outcroppings Males are territorial and colorful Females bland coloring Main food is insects

4 Tortoises Leopard Tortoises: often seen in Serengeti
Herbivores, obtain calcium from bones or hyena feces Watch for them on roads Fire and vehicles are the most common cause of injury Pancake Tortoises: live on rock ledges and kopjes. Herbivores Forage morning, late afternoon/evening Stay in shade of rocks during heat of day Over collection by pet trade is impacting population

5 Insects The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater ecosystems are home to a great variety of insect species. Anthony Sinclair has studied the Serengeti ecosystem for over 40 years. In his book, Serengeti Story: A scientist in paradise, he states that, although the insects in the Serengeti have not been thoroughly studied yet, the following have been identified: 180 species of butterfly 100 species of dung beetles 70 species of grasshoppers The following are just some of the ways that insects affect the populations of other species within the ecosystem : Acting as a food source for other species Acting as vectors for disease Preying on other species Pollinating flowering plants Decomposing dead organic matter

6 Dung Beetles At least 100 different species in Serengeti. Locate dung by smell. Specialized dung beetles use feces of only one species. Other dung beetles are not species feces specific. Many species create balls of dung and soil. Roll ball with back legs while walking on front legs. Male and female work together to dig hole. Female takes dung into tunnel while male guards entrance and tries to prevent other males from entering. Female lays egg on ball, fills in tunnel. Larva will eat its way out of tunnel. Current research: Scientists believe dung beetles use light from the Milky Way to navigate at night. Current research: Scientists think dung beetles stand on top of the dung balls during the hottest time of the day to help cool themselves. 75% of dung in Serengeti is moved by these beetles. Benefits: Fertilizes soil, aerates soil, prepares land for grass to grow, controls flies, disease, parasites. Recommended viewing BEFORE presentation: If you have a dog, you know the joys of pooper scooping- or what your yard looks like after the winter snow melts! Now imagine that you had hundreds of dogs on your property. Pooper scooping would become a full time job! Think about the Serengeti. Millions of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. All those mouths munching mean tons and tons of waste. Is that why we are headed to Serengeti – to pooper scoop all that waste?!?! No – Thanks to the mighty powers of the dung beetle, we will not be pooper scooping our way across the plains of Africa. Although… it might be interesting to get a small sample of fresh scat that we could use to re-create an experiment done by Dr. Doug Emlen, biology professor at the University of Montana: “We happened across elephant dung in the road, and I realize normal people don't do this, but we hopped out of the car and collected the elephant dung in a Tupperware bin and brought it back to the campground where we were staying that evening. And I remember with the bunch of the students we all had headlights on and we set out to the edge of camp and placed the elephant dung out on the ground to see what we could find. And I sat there with my clipboard, trying to take notes on the beetles that came in and the beetles started coming in faster and faster and faster. And pretty quickly it was impossible to see anything because there were all buzzing and circling around our headlights and then a couple of minutes later they were starting to pour out of the sky so fast that I couldn't even take notes on my clipboard because my clipboard was covered with literally an inch of solid beetles. They were going down our necks. They were in our hair. They were in our faces and finally by the end, this sounds like an exaggeration, but it's not, it was as if somebody stood over us with a bucket full of beetles and poured it steadily out on top. The beetles absolutely covered absolutely covered the elephant dung - tens, probably hundreds of thousands of them came within minutes and we were utterly overwhelmed.” These beetles are responsible for moving approximately 75% of the animal waste on the Serengeti plains. They bury much of the dung to be used as a food source by hatching larva. This process results in aerated and fertilized soil, makes the environment more favorable for new grass to grow, and controls flies, parasites, and disease. In Australia in 1788, people began raising large herds of cattle and other non-native herbivores. Without native dung beetles to recycle the waste, the great amount of animal waste led to large populations of flies and other parasites. Research was done to find non-native dung beetles that could be introduced to help recycle the waste. Since 1969, dung beetles from Africa, Hawaii, and Europe were successfully introduced into Australia. Today, research continues on using various species of dung beetles for improving farming practices and even for removing pet waste from city streets. While on safari, take a moment to appreciate the work of the dung beetles! Illustration by Janet Baxter

7 Tsetse Flies 23 different species
Most are slightly larger than houseflies Wings fold over body Live in wooded areas Males and females feed on blood of vertebrates Bite during day Painful bite Attracted to dark clothing Vector for Human African trypanosomiasis (AKA sleeping sickness) and animal trypanosomiasis ( AKA Nagana in cattle) Tsetse flies have limited development in certain areas of Africa, preserving the land’s natural ecosystem Many control methods tried with varying degrees of success: Slaughter of wild animal hosts, clearing of land, pesticides, trapping, sterilization of male tsetse Tsetse fly eggs and larvae develop inside the female. As the egg and larvae develop in the adult fly’s uterus, it is fed “intrauterine milk.” The female will give birth to the larvae, which then burrows into the soil to complete its development. The following video clip shows the life cycle of the fly: A study published in 2011 reported on the feeding patterns of tsetse flies. One location used in the study was the Serengeti. Of the 40 tsetse flies from the Serengeti, 25 had fed on African buffalo, 8 fed on giraffe, 3 on warthog, 3 on elephant, and one on spotted hyena. All flies analyzed had single source blood. The authors were surprised to find that none of the flies tested had fed on antelope, although there were large numbers of antelope in the areas tested. Citation: Muturi CN, Ouma JO, Malele II, Ngure RM, Rutto JJ, et al. (2011) Tracking the Feeding Patterns of Tsetse Flies (Glossina Genus) by Analysis of Bloodmeals Using Mitochondrial Cytochromes Genes. PLoS ONE 6(2): e doi: /journal.pone Zebra have rarely been found to be hosts to tsetse flies. The pattern of stripes is thought to play a role. “If you're planning a trip to Africa, pack that zebra-print shirt that's been hiding in the back of your closet. A new study finds that zebra stripes disrupt light patterns that tsetse flies and horseflies use to find food and water. “ There are several species of trypanosomes. Some of these can cause “sleeping sickness” in humans and other animals. Many trypanosomes use the tsetse fly for part of their development. Some develop in the midgut, others in the proboscis, and yet others develop in the salivary glands of the tsetse fly. Treated with insecticide, this hanging black & blue cloth is meant to trap tsetse flies

8 Siafu AKA: Safari Ants or Driver Ants
Travel in groups of 20,000,000 or more. Bite is painful and it is hard to remove biting ant since the head often breaks off when the body is pulled. Some tribes use the biting ants as sutures for wounds. Eat scorpions, mice, insects, frogs, and other small animals Attracted by carbon dioxide of prey. Can swarm houses – not always seen as a bad thing since they kill all the pests in the home.

9 Termites Kings/queens, workers, soldiers
Three genera of mound building termites in Serengeti. Decompose plant material and cycle nutrients. Create mounds by piling up soil from deeper underground. Soil in mound is more alkaline than surrounding surface soil which allows different varieties of plants to grow near mound than in surrounding ecosystem. Many animals use mounds for lookouts. Tunnels become home to a variety of animals besides termites (mice, snakes, mongoose). Termites are favored food of aardwolves and whispering ants. Lion on Termite Mound, Serengeti Mostly dead termite mounds visible from the air, Northern Serengeti Sep 2011

10 “Simba of the Sand” Antlion Lacewing. Larval stage buries in sand.
Makes conical pit in sand (about an inch across). Catches insects that fall into pit. Adult insect resembles dragonfly.

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12 Tsetse Flies

13 Dung Beetles Antlion Nile Crocodile

14 Rock Agama Siafu Termites Tortoises General

15 Books Estes, R. D. (1993) The Safari Companion. White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Company Mercer, G., & Jafferji, J. (2007) Serengeti National Park. Zanzibar: Gallery Publications Norton, B. (2011) Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing Scott, J., & Scott, A. (2000) Mara-Serengeti: A Photographer’s Paradise. Faringdon, Oxfordshire: Fountain Press Shah, A., & Shah M. (2007) African Odyssey: 365 Days. New York, New York: Abrams Shah, A. (2012) Serengeti Spy: Views from a Hidden Camera on the Plains of East Africa. New York, New York: Abrams


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