Tetrapod Zoology

Back in April 2008 (my god – where does the time go?) I wrote a brief article about the Animal Life and The Private Lives of Animals books, published by Casa Editrice AMZ. These first came out during the late 1960s and were written in Italian; they were then translated into English during the 70s. As I said last year, the art in these books is generally pretty fantastic and a joy to look it. However, the artists were, evidently, sometimes asked to paint things that they’d never seen (example: the sexual dimorphism present in Sable antelopes Hippotragus niger).

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What also makes the books viscerally thrilling is that they feature numerous fight scenes. So, if someone, somewhere in the literature, said that they’d seen a rhino beating the shit out of a crocodile, a scene depicting this encounter was created and included. Last time round, I mentioned such scenes, but failed to share them. Here are a few of my favourites (all of which come from Animal Life in Africa, first published in 1968 and compiled by Rinaldo D’Ami and Alfredo Trincia). All might really have occurred on occasion, but whether they played out as stated in the book is open to debate.

Perhaps the coolest one of the lot is that shown above: Black rhino Diceros bicornis vs Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus. Note that the rhino is hard enough to take on two crocs at once: it reminds me of Peter Jackson’s King Kong… Kong is tough enough to take on not one, not two, but three V. rex. Why oh why might a rhino feel the need to kick the shit out of two crocodiles? The book says: ‘If it is in a bad temper, or wounded, the rhinoceros will attack any animal, tree or termites’ nest within reach. Here two crocodiles are getting the worst of it from an angry rhinoceros’. Oh, right. Of course.

Now, Cape buffalo Syncerus caffer vs Black rhino…

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Apparently, hippos Hippopotamus amphibius have been known to fight sharks on occasion. Or is it the other way round? Actually, this scene depicts an event in which a hippo was attacked by a shark (presumably a Bull shark Carcharhinus leucas) in the St. Lucia River. However, ‘Although wounded, the hippopotamus was seen to counter-attack and eventually defeated its ferocious assailant’. Sorry, no more information. I recall an account mentioned in books I used to read as a kid where a thirst-crazed elephant ran into a river (or the sea?) and got attacked and killed by sharks.

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Birds get some of the action too. Piracy, mobbing and general nastiness are pretty common among raptors, and large species frequently beat on or kill smaller rivals. The book says that the Secretary bird Sagittarius serpentarius is ‘often attacked by other birds and robbed of its prey’. ‘Often’? Really? In the picture, the aggressor is what I assume to be a Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus, referred to in the book as a ‘grey kestrel’. Because the book was translated from Italian, this is presumably some kind of translation error. Anyone know what the Italian is for the Bateleur? Huh, I bet the French have no word for Bateleur.

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Finally, here’s my favourite: Leopard Panthera pardus vs helmet shrike. The helmet shrikes don’t match any real species so far as I can tell and appear to be artistic inventions! Anyway… Ok, we all know that small birds will mob predators, and that some will become so enraged and/or bold while mobbing that they will peck at, and even land on, the object of their aggression. And I have little doubt that an angry group of helmet shrikes might give even a big predator a nasty peck or two. But the idea that ‘the leopard may well come off second best’ seems pretty unlikely to me (I’ve left the text on this time), and I reject this as ridiculous unless someone can demonstrate otherwise.

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However one might criticise these books and their artwork, I still maintain that they were wholly worthwhile and educational, and I know that I’m not alone in that they helped to foster my interest in animals when I was younger.

For previous articles on unusual cases of combat, aggression and predation see…

Comments

  1. #1 Laelaps
    July 9, 2009

    Yeah, that “bull shark” was definitely based upon a leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata.

  2. #2 Darren Naish
    July 9, 2009

    Oh yeah, thanks. I wondered about this but assumed that the dark markings were meant to be dapples caused by light and shadow. For the record, Leopard sharks are definitely not in the habit of biting hippos.

  3. #3 Christophe Thill
    July 9, 2009

    Seems that we French call the bateleur “aigle bateleur” (or “mountebank eagle”).

    As for the poor spotted kitty being mobbed by nasty birdies… hmmm… might it be the inspiration for a certain 1963 movie featuring angry birds ?

  4. #4 Hai~Ren
    July 9, 2009

    Spelling error: Hippopomatus?

    This is way better than the awful dreck that was Animal Face-Off. Although I have to admit, that hippo vs. shark painting is giving me flashbacks of that particular episode… Ugh.

    Based on these paintings, the black rhino might as well be the Chuck Norris of the animal world.

  5. #5 tai haku
    July 9, 2009

    As Brian notes they make two classic artistic shark depiction errors:
    a) thinking all sharks are equivalent so just drawing one and naming it another; and
    b) assuming all are predatory monsters so choosing to depict a cool looking but basically harmless (to anything not tiny) one (in this case Triakis fasciatus) in an act of ferocity.

    Schoolboy errors.

  6. #6 Dave Hone
    July 9, 2009

    I did hear from my colleagues at London Zoo of a greater kudu (male) charging and knocking over a white rhino in the old exhibit at Marwell zoo in the 1990′s. No other information was forthcoming from Marwell and we always assumed that the former caught the latter off guard and from the side given the mass differences.

  7. #7 John Scanlon, FCD
    July 9, 2009

    These remind me of cover art on some editions of the Willard Price books I lived in for a while (hmm, 1974-76). The inside illustrations were line drawings, I remember one of a Komodo Dragon (maximum size, of course) battling a giant Taipan (it’s a shame their ranges don’t actually overlap).

  8. #8 Leonardo Ambasciano
    July 9, 2009

    I used to think ‘falco giocoliere’ (that is, playing kestrel/hawk or sort of) was the italian for Terathopius ecaudatus. Grey Kestrel is Falco ardosiaceus; (common)’kestrel’ in italian should be ‘gheppio’, sing. masc. noun (Falco tinnunculus).
    French “Bateleur” (“tight-rope walker”), from which the english term was mutuated, is referred to its ability to flap its wings’ tip when flying.
    P.S.: Please vote on my blog http://geomythology.blogspot.com/ the most groundbreaking dinosaur book ever written (1980-2000) – it’s for a university research! I really need your help…that’s 6 days left from now on! Thanks in advance!

    Leo

  9. #9 Michael P. Taylor
    July 9, 2009

    Ah, Willard Price! Come on Darren, do a blog on the Adventure books. You know you want to!

  10. #10 Leonardo Ambasciano
    July 9, 2009

    > Addendum: well, italian “giocoliere” (from ‘gioco’=fr. jeu/eng. game, the act of playing with…etc.) is a correct translation for the french “bateleur”, indeed [fr. "saltimbanque", it. "saltimbanco"/acrobata = eng. "juggler"(artist)/acrobat].

    Leo

  11. #11 Albertonykus
    July 9, 2009

    Those made me laugh out loud (especially the leopard VS the “helmet shrikes”). Wasn’t there one with a ratel attacking a wildebeest, as you mentioned in the other blog entry?

  12. #12 anon
    July 9, 2009

    - “the idea that ‘the leopard may well come off second best’ seems pretty unlikely to me”

    That helmet shrike’s dynamite!

  13. #13 Leonardo Ambasciano
    July 9, 2009

    > Darren wrote: “The helmet shrikes don’t match any real species so far as I can tell and appear to be artistic inventions!”
    - As far as I can tell, with the exception of the red belly and the loss of red eye contour (did they loosely infer red belly from a bad photo or a notice of red eyes contour?), the rest of the fancy-angry-bird is based upon Retz’s helmet shrike (Prionops retzii).

    Leo

  14. #14 Darren Naish
    July 9, 2009

    Albertonykus (comment 11): yes, a flying ratel is leaping at a wildebeest, sorry I didn’t show it.

    Leonardo (comment 12): I don’t think the birds look more like Retz’s helmet shrike than any other passerine, and there are a lot of differences between the ‘helmeted shrike’ shown above and that species. Like I said, I reckon they made it up.

  15. #15 Barn Owl
    July 9, 2009

    Both leopards and shrikes (at least the Loggerhead Shrikes we have here) cache prey in trees, so perhaps that was the impetus for “Savage Leopard vs. Imaginary Shrikes ELEVENTY!!!”

    Though I admit it’s a stretch in any case.

  16. #16 Jerzy
    July 9, 2009

    I cannot comment on helmetshrikes, but it is well known that arctic terns can make Polar bear run away and fast.

  17. #17 Jerzy
    July 9, 2009

    Consider – black rhinos are almost extinct. And large decades-old Nile crocodiles survived maybe in two or three rivers in Africa.

    What chances exist in 2000′s of a rhino encountering a big croc? With or without such fantastic details?

    For me, old books about game hunting in Africa and Asia are fascinating. Full of fascinating scenes and behaviours. Generally, they tend not to be so obviously exagerrated, or at least you can guess when the author is making it up. A pity that time of such encounters is gone – animals are wiped out, habitats destroyed, countries politicaly inaccessible. Nostalgia kicks!

    No more huge crocodiles attacking rhinos, herds of elephants flattening native villages, mass migrations of springbok taking two days to pass…

  18. #18 Darren Naish
    July 9, 2009

    Well said Jerzy. One famous book on elephants – it might be one of Douglas-Hamilton’s – features a large photograph as a double-page spread. From edge to edge and top to bottom, the two pages are covered in elephants. Ok, it might have been a ‘super-herd’ (an aggregation of several herds) but, even so, numbers like this can’t be seen anymore.

    Having said all this, gigantic aggregations are still visible in some places. Wasn’t it recently shown that Somalia was home to particularly large antelope herds?

    And, for shame, I have never seen any African megafauna in the wild. I better get out there soon. Sigh… finances.

  19. #19 QrazyQat
    July 9, 2009

    I did hear from my colleagues at London Zoo of a greater kudu (male) charging and knocking over a white rhino in the old exhibit at Marwell zoo in the 1990′s.

    Rhino-tipping. Those antelope get bored now and again.

  20. #20 Michael Ogden Erickson
    July 9, 2009

    Fantasy aside, that is some beautiful artwork, ya’ gotta admit.

  21. #21 Hai~Ren
    July 9, 2009

    Wasn’t it recently shown that Somalia was home to particularly large antelope herds?

    Sudan, you mean.

    Massive Animal Herds Flourishing Despite Sudan War, Survey Reveals

  22. #22 Zach Miller
    July 9, 2009

    Jerzy, we still have giant caribou and reindeer herds up in Alaska. My dad said that one time while he was camping up north, a massive herd of caribou passed his tent and took over a day to do so. I would’ve loved to have seen that.

  23. #23 Raymond Minton
    July 9, 2009

    I’ve heard of, and occasionally seen, such dramatic physical encounters between animals. It wasn’t well documented in terms of a date or location, but there was the story of a crocodile grasping an elephant’s trunk, before being pulled out of the water and trampled to death (one assumes the crocodile in question had no experience with elephants.) There was also a scene on a nature documentary where a hippo charged a buffalo open-mouthed, for no apparent reason other than the fact that it was the dry season, and tempers were running high (the buffalo fled. The narrator said, “the outcome is uncertain”, but my money was on the hippo!) Though I suspect some of these encounters are relatively rare, and related in large part to environmental stress, they certainly are memorable when they occur.

  24. #24 Blind Squirrel FCD
    July 9, 2009

    I cannot comment on helmetshrikes, but it is well known that arctic terns can make Polar bear run away and fast.

    That’s because polar bears can’t throw rocks.

    BS

  25. #25 Doug l
    July 9, 2009

    Really fascinating subject. I think our retelling and consequent re-imagining of these kind of encounters in nature is evidence of our biophilia and our inate compunction to watch these dramatic and ostentatious displays, comparing them to human terms and epic scales.
    From cave paintings to the giant bronze battling dinos infront of USC’s museum in LA, and zillions of notable examples in between, depicting this kind of behavior has been a significant though overlooked aspect to our art history.
    My question is “did people really encounter these fantastic battles, witness what they said they did first hand?” I think some of ‘em might have, sometimes in the wild and sometimes in staged events. How long has it been since the really big concentrations of megafauna roamed over big landscapes, there use to be so many and now just some caribou. I’m all for recreating those landscapes.
    Who would have believed that Youtube video of the crocs, lions and cape buffaloe from just a few years back?
    And those are pretty cool illustrations.

  26. #26 Rosel
    July 9, 2009

    @ Christophe Thill
    The Birds is based on a 1952 novella by Daphne du Maurier.

    Yes Willard Price books! I read all my dads copies till they fell apart, pretty sure I read them all eventualy.

  27. #27 John Harshman
    July 9, 2009

    It wasn’t well documented in terms of a date or location, but there was the story of a crocodile grasping an elephant’s trunk, before being pulled out of the water and trampled to death (one assumes the crocodile in question had no experience with elephants.)

    Did this story also involve a bi-coloured python rock snake? If so, I remember it a bit differently. The crocodile didn’t get his dinner, but the elephant’s child learned much to his advantage.

  28. #28 Sebastian Marquez
    July 9, 2009

    @John, does it also take place by the banks of the great, greasy Limpopo River?

  29. #29 Katkinkate
    July 9, 2009

    I loved Willard Price. It was his books that got me addicted to reading when I was a kid.

  30. #30 John Harshman
    July 9, 2009

    That would be the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees. Some evolutionary biologists don’t like just-so stories, but I’ve been a fan from an early age.

  31. #31 Sebastian Marquez
    July 9, 2009

    Ah yes, I forgot. But it’s been some 20+ years since I played the bi-coloured python rock snake in a school play. Needless to say, I’m a fan as well.

  32. #32 Blind Squirrel FCD
    July 9, 2009
    I cannot comment on helmetshrikes, but it is well known that arctic terns can make Polar bear run away and fast.

    That’s because polar bears can’t throw rocks.

    If they could throw rocks. they would certainly leave no tern unstoned.

    BS

  33. #33 RichardS
    July 9, 2009

    One encounter that I’ve seen on the tv are hippos and crocs during the dry season when they are both left in rapidly decreasing muddy puddles. However they seem to get on pretty well, though perhaps this is due to their mutual predicament and need to preserve energy. Is there anything in the literature about hippos and croc relationships during and outside the dry season? I expect that the crocs would tend to avoid hippos but do they predate calves?

  34. #34 RichardS
    July 9, 2009

    Also the sharks vs Hippo picture reminds me of one of Bob Nicholls paintings (from a few days backs blog) at http://www.paleocreations.com/ where the drowned Mastodons are being feasted on by the Megalodons.

    Considering how good a swimmers they are I wonder if asian elephants transiting between islands in south-east asia ever meet sharks? I guess they’d be pretty much defenceless with almost their entire bodies submerged?

  35. #35 Nathan Myers
    July 9, 2009

    I don’t know about leopards, but I know of house cats terrorized by small birds. I know of a specific housecat that deliberately provoked small birds to try to terrorize it, and snatched them out of the air frequently enough to get most uncommonly fat.

  36. #36 Alan Kellogg
    July 9, 2009

    Laelaps, #1

    Leopard shark. The thing in the illo looks more like the by-blow of a mako and a great white.

  37. #37 retrieverman
    July 9, 2009

    I didn’t think African rhinos could swim– at least the white rhinos can’t.

  38. #38 Bob Michaels
    July 9, 2009

    What no illustrations of Tarzan?

  39. #39 John Scanlon FCD
    July 10, 2009

    One famous book on elephants – it might be one of Douglas-Hamilton’s – features a large photograph as a double-page spread. From edge to edge and top to bottom, the two pages are covered in elephants.

    There were shots like that in Peter Beard’s The End of the Game, but Douglas-Hamilton would no doubt have been able to get them too, back in the day. Most of the elephants in Beard’s book are dead, dead, dead, page after page. Beautiful pictures and great text, though.

    Glad to see I’ve brought out a few old Willard Price fans. There was one book I never managed to find in a library… and on checking Wikipedia I can see why, the last TWO in the series were published after I stopped looking for them. Not sure I could bear to go back, after all this time, even if they were available.

  40. #40 John Scanlon FCD
    July 10, 2009

    Elephants and sharks:

    I guess they’d be pretty much defenceless with almost their entire bodies submerged?

    Ever wonder why elephants keep their gonads inside the body cavity?

    Seriously though, there was a study back in the 80′s or early 90′s (anyone got the reference? – Google fails me)supporting the hypothesis that putting the testes outside in a dangly pouch was a derived feature of saltatory mammals; animals that don’t jump tuck them away again. But you still read in various places that the scrotum is an ‘adaptation’ for keeping testes at lower than body temperature… as if elephants and whales were all sterile or something. Pfft.

  41. #41 Leonardo Ambasciano
    July 10, 2009

    Speaking of crocodiles and animals’ strategy of defence, did anybody noticed this one: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/26923726.html [Armadillosuchus arrudai]? Not new at all, but it’s a gorgeous photo.
    P.S.: Thanks to all the visitors to my blog for sharing their preference on my opinion poll!! (and there’s still time to vote). On http://geomythology.blogspot.com/ I’ll share the results and the conclusions for this university test with all the interested readers.

  42. #42 Andreas Johansson
    July 10, 2009

    If they could throw rocks. they would certainly leave no tern unstoned.

    Ow. You owe me a brain.

  43. #43 Adam Yates
    July 10, 2009

    “But you still read in various places that the scrotum is an ‘adaptation’ for keeping testes at lower than body temperature… as if elephants and whales were all sterile or something. Pfft.”

    Yes, but at least the cetaceans have special mechanisms for keeping their testes cool. I remember reading somewhere in a popular science article that male dolphins pipe cool blood directly from the dorsal fin to the testes. I should really try to find the actual paper on this.

  44. #44 Darren Naish
    July 10, 2009

    Elephants and other afrotherians (all of which exhibit testicondy) are, however, said to have rather warm testicles, and it’s even been suggested that this explains their rapid rates of molecular evolution. There was some discussion of this subject here. And see…

    Werdelin, L. & Nilsonne, A. 1999. The evolution of the scrotum and testicular descent in mammals: a phylogenetic view. Journal of Theoretical Biology 196, 61-72.

    - ., Nilsonne, A. & Fortelius, M. 1999. Testicondy and ecological opportunism predict the rapid evolution of elephants. Evolutionary Theory 12, 39-45.

  45. #45 Darren Naish
    July 10, 2009

    And for papers on the thermoregulation of dolphin testicles see…

    Pabst, D. A., Rommel, S. A., McLellan, W. A., Williams, T. M. & Rowles, T. K. 1995. Thermoregulation of the intra-abdominal testes of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) during exercise. Journal of Experimental Biology 198, 221-226.

    Rommel, S. A., Pabst, D. A., McLellan, W. A., Mead, J. G. & Potter, C. W. 2005. Anatomical evidence for a countercurrent heat exchanger associated with dolphin testes. The Anatomical Record 232 150-156.

    Both studies discuss counter-current heat exchange mechanisms whereby subcutaneous veins on the dorsal fin and tail flukes carry cool blood to the venous plexus located adjacent to the spermatic arterial plexus.. this in turn supplies blood to the testes.

  46. #46 Jerzy
    July 10, 2009

    @Darren

    One interesting story from the old decades is that leopard, after caching prey on the tree, tolerates Baleteur near it. The reason is that Baleteur, while stealing a bit for itself, will keep flocks of vultures from eating the rest.

    Who knows if it is true? Suppose it was regional behavior of aone population of leopards, now wiped out?

  47. #47 Jerzy
    July 10, 2009

    @John Scanlon FCD

    One less known anatomical detail: male Brazilian tapir is able to quickly pull its genitalia into a fold in its body. In case of piranhas and candiru fish.

  48. #48 Jerzy
    July 10, 2009

    @Raymond Minton

    If I remember well, one crocodile ended up very dead and stuffed into a tree hole by an angry elephant.

    The movie about wildebeest, now on DVDs and in Imax theaters, has some shots of a hippo attacking wildebeest passing through his river.

  49. #49 Dartian
    July 11, 2009

    Darren:

    Perhaps the coolest one of the lot is that shown above: Black rhino Diceros bicornis vs Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus. Note that the rhino is hard enough to take on two crocs at once [...] Why oh why might a rhino feel the need to kick the shit out of two crocodiles? The book says: ‘If it is in a bad temper, or wounded, the rhinoceros will attack any animal, tree or termites’ nest within reach. Here two crocodiles are getting the worst of it from an angry rhinoceros’. Oh, right. Of course.

    Actually, I’d guess that this particular scene is based on a particular real-life event. Namely, on an incident by the Tana River in Kenya (in either the late 19th or the early 20th century) where an adult black rhinoceros was dragged into the river and drowned by a huge crocodile. This incident was witnessed and apparently also photographed by a Mr. Fleischman; the photos were supposedly published in one of Frederick Selous’ books (I’ve never seen those photos or that book myself, alas).

    For the record, Leopard sharks are definitely not in the habit of biting hippos.

    …partly (though not only) because leopard sharks live in the eastern parts of the Pacific Ocean, where encounters with hippos are somewhat unlikely.

    Jerzy:

    For me, old books about game hunting in Africa and Asia are fascinating. Full of fascinating scenes and behaviours. Generally, they tend not to be so obviously exagerrated, or at least you can guess when the author is making it up.

    While I agree with the general point you’re making, that early sources may describe aspects of animal biology that are no longer observable, I’d like to point out that it’s good to keep in mind that some of those early accounts are probably just flat out inaccurate. For example, if you pick up a book that was published fifty or more years ago, you’re likely to find there stated as a matter of fact that (spotted) hyaenas are cowardly scavengers that almost never hunt large, healthy prey. And I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that this is because spotted hyaenas miraculously turned into active big-game hunters only in the 1960ies, when Hans Kruuk and other Western scientists just happened to start paying attention to their behaviour. The far more likely explanation is that the earlier authors were just wrong.

    RichardS:

    Considering how good a swimmers they are I wonder if asian elephants transiting between islands in south-east asia ever meet sharks? I guess they’d be pretty much defenceless with almost their entire bodies submerged?

    I once saw a documentary (by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, IIRC) where mahouts of such ocean-swimming elephants were asked about sharks. They said that sharks sometimes slightly bother swimming elephants, but apparently serious shark-caused injuries are extremely rare. I don’t think any actual elephant deaths have been recorded.

  50. #50 Jerzy
    July 11, 2009

    Dartian: I see your point. That is why you need to filter such stories. For example avoid generalizations and concentrate on what people saw themselves. Or, equaly important, what they didn’t see, although one would expect them to see.

    For example, lots of old books – and many new observations eg. from West and Central Africa and Gir in India – tell about lions living alone or in twos-threes. Probably lions normally live(d) singly or in small groups in dense bushy areas and semidesert. So large lion prides with multiple males and females, familiar from game reserves like Serengeti and Etosha, are not universal and perhaps not even typical for lions.

    Even more interesting are tigers hunting in groups for domestic stock in Asia… But its a different story.

  51. #51 Peter Mihalda
    July 13, 2009

    In South Africa a leopard killed a fully grown crocodile the last year. I have photos of that.

    Peter Mihalda

  52. #52 Darren Naish
    July 13, 2009

    Follow the link in the post above to ‘leopard vs crocodile’. The crocodile may not have been a healthy individual, as you’ll see if you read the comments in the aforementioned post.

  53. #53 Peter Mihalda
    July 14, 2009

    I am glad that dr. Holmes has explained us why it happened, no matter that the combat has last several hours.
    But this is the very inner lever of Darren Naish – animal combats. To let two dogs against one another and to look at them. The above mentioned combats never happen in nature.
    But why Naish does paleontology, or evolution in general? I think it is too dificult topic for him.
    Aside that he is unable even to name individual bones, for example skull roof bones of stegosaurs, which have the postfrontal and the supraorbital, and no palpebral (which is not a neomorph but a modified supraorbital, evolved in later ornithischians, eg heterodontosaurs). He will probably attack me that I am a fool, but in that case Gilmore and many others before him are so.

    Peter Mihalda

  54. #54 Darren Naish
    July 14, 2009

    You really are a nasty little shit, Peter. This is your last appearance on my blog.

  55. #55 Stevo Darkly
    July 15, 2009

    “And there was much rejoicing.”

  56. #56 Dartian
    July 16, 2009

    Regarding exceptional/unlikely animal face-offs: I was reminded of this incident in Australia a few years ago.

  57. #57 Tiktaalik
    July 18, 2009

    I recall an account mentioned in books I used to read as a kid where a thirst-crazed elephant ran into a river (or the sea?) and got attacked and killed by sharks.

    It was the sea.

  58. #58 valagos
    November 7, 2009

    Hello, checking through older posts I found this gem of an entry. I totally loved the Animal Life series as a small child, and actually learned to read with them. They fostered my fascination with animals, specially dinosaurs (the caption of a T-Rex fighting a Triceratops was particularly epic). Sadly I lost the collection piecemeal when our storage room flooded some years ago. Any idea where I could find more about this collection on the web?

  59. #59 tejas
    September 22, 2010

    This bird you mentioned is called a grey kestrel Falco ardosiaceus.

  60. #60 Nathan H.
    February 7, 2011

    Hello there Darren and all you other folks. I’d like to direct you all to an interesting YouTube vid showcasing a battle between a southern white rhino and a Cape buffalo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4FChkrZ6kU

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