|African fish eagle.|
I rode to Guma camp with Seteng Motalaote, our aquatic birder, counting and georeferencing our sightings of African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer
). These white-hooded raptors prefer tall trees along the banks of the river channel where they can use their extremely precise eyesight to capture fishes right out of the water.
The typical water chestnut (Trapa natans) habitat also contains water lilies (Nymphaea nouchali), a floating plant (Ludwigia stolonifera), and Hippo grass (Vossia cuspidata). Similar to the water chestnuts you find in Chinese food, the seed pods from these plants have extremely sharp barbs which stick into the hippo's feet. This is how they are transported into new habitats.
|Water chestnut (Trapa natans), water lilies |
(Nymphaea nouchali), a floating leafed
plant (Ludwigia stolonifera), and Hippo
grass (Vossia cuspidata).
One of the first exciting finds for the fish team was the Many-spined climbing perch (Ctenopoma multispine
) and the Black-spot climbing perch (Microctenopoma intermedium
). Both are well suited to swamp habitat as they come equipped with organs to breathe air as well as gills. "The many-spined climbing perch has a specially articulated gill cover which can extend and assist the fish to scramble over land on occasion. The black-spot climbing perch constructs a bubble nest in which the eggs are laid and defended," says Paul Skelton, member of AquaRAP Icthyology team and director of JLB Smith Institute of Icthyology.
— Jensen Reitz Montambault
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