“I think you need to come and look at this again” called Dr Martin Lockley. Dr Charles Helm, his wife Linda and myself were walking away from an overhang of aeolianite with a series of fossilized tracks on the under surface to look at another series of fossil tracks which Dr Helm describes as a work of art. When an ichnologist and paleontologist as renowned … Continue reading Cast in Stone : The Cradle of Human Culture.
In the past 6 months there have been over 10 whale carcasses washed up, including a rare Sperm Whale, in the Garden Route. Depending on where they washed up, their handling varied from leaving them in situ to burying them or removing the remains for disposal elsewhere. Where possible, sampling was performed for DNA profiling and parasite collection. Generally, with the carcasses there is a … Continue reading Whale Strandings – the harsh reality of nature.
Date: Sunday 2nd September 2018 Location : Swartvlei Beach By Mark Dixon. Late Sunday morning the much awaited autopsy of the beached Sperm Whale carcass got underway. Joining the research team were Dr Stephanie Plon from NMU with Dr Greg Hofmeyr from Bayworld visiting briefly while en route to Cape Town. The most noticeable external observation was of the advanced onset of bloat that had … Continue reading Preliminary Sperm Whale autopsy report.
Date : Sat 1st September Location : Swartvlei Beach Sperm Whale washed ashore. By Mark Dixon It is remarkable that in the past two months no less than two whales have washed up on Swartvlei Beach east of Sedgefield. Even more remarkable is the fact that both whales washed up a few hundred meters apart, testimony to the consistency of currents along the shoreline. The … Continue reading Rare incidence of a Sperm Whale washing up on Swartvlei Beach beach in the Garden Route.
By Mark Dixon Friday 29th June 2018 Today, in the Garden Route, we witnessed the indifference of natural selection. Yet for those present, there was an empathy for one of the giants of the ocean. One year ago I swam with Humpback Whales during the Sardine run in the Eastern Cape. Today I watched one die. The scientist in me took notes. The bloodshot eyes … Continue reading Death Of a Whale
All things Great and Small, we saw them all last night on the Moonlight Meander. With a slight offshore wind there was no sea mist and the views of the Milky Way, Orion Belt and the Southern Cross were crystal clear. In the tidalpools, it was like a marine nursery with many exciting finds of juvenile organisms. It helped that the water was unexpectedly clear … Continue reading Moonlight Meander – a night time tour of tidal pools at Gericke’s Point.
June 2017 will be remembered by South Africans for decades to come. A historical moment when Mother Nature showed her true power and the only option was to get out of her path and watch in awe. For a week preceding the fire, extreme weather warnings had been issued with predictions of flooding in drought stricken Cape Town and surrounds and rain and strong winds … Continue reading Knysna Fires : Five factors that produced the Perfect Inferno