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IN THE WILD: Most attractive male on Earth are found in the savannah

THROUGH a process which involves professional people, time and money, from time in history kings and military generals decorate themselves with crowns and other metals to create attraction and influence to their subjects. Sometime to get this people use power to create good image.

At the same time in the Savannah nature has something special for few males who are very lucky to be dwellers of national parks such as Mikumi, Kitulo, Udzungwa, Saadani, Mkomazi, Katavi, Rubondo island and other areas where different species of reptile, bed, mammals and insects thrive. In the wild physical attractiveness is the degree to which an animal’s physical features are considered to be appealing, pleasing or beautiful before human’s eyes.

On the other side, the state of lions to have physical attractiveness may also provide the chance of being photogenic regardless of power, authority and other fearful features which are associated with their daily activities in vast savannah grassland of Serengeti.

Among cats, uniquely lions grow long furs which cover their head, neck and shoulder, this is a natural protective gear called mane that can reach more than 25 centimeters long while providing strong physical attractiveness to the bearer. The mane on a lion which weigh 189.5 kilograms display its health, endurance and authority but also sexual attraction to lionesses within a pride because the darkness of the long fur indicates high ability of breeding. Among lionesses the presence, absence, colour and size of the mane is associated with genetic precondition, sexual maturity and testosterone production.

This mostly means that the darker and fuller the mane, the healthier the lion is and that is why in sexual selection of mates lionesses prefer lions with the heavy, long and darkest mane.

Even on your side fear and a deep death anxiety will sweep out your strength when a full grown lion with long and darker mane stand before you or walking toward a point where you are standing in the wild. At the same time lions are gifted with ability to change their face according to environment, need and feelings, when a lion smells something interesting it will wrinkle up its nose, retract its lips and clench its teeth to show its expression of fear or hunger.

In African mythology, the lions are associated with tales of kindness and politeness but all in all, these big cats display different shapes of their face but the form of the face in terms of how everything hangs together is an important determinant factor of beauty in the savannah.

Meanwhile Saanane Island in Lake Victoria is in the higher stage of becoming the 16th national park in Tanzania mainland. There are good number of mammals such as hippo, rock hyrax, impala, wild Cats, vervet monkeys and others. Due to its geographical position the Island is a paradise for reptiles like crocodile, monitor lizard, python, tortoise and agama lizards which may be seen bumping on rocks scattered all over the island where these lizards may be easily recognized by their nodding and speedy running habit.

Generally, they feed on insects, flowers grass, berries, seeds and even the eggs of smaller lizards and other smaller species too.

The incisor-like front teeth designed for quick cutting and chewing of their prey. Different scientific research indicate these beautiful lizards are active in early hours break at noon and come out in the afternoon hours because they cannot tolerate high temperatures. So to see them please observe their schedules.

With a long tail, Agama Lizard has body size of 12.5 to 30 cm with strong legs capable of running very fast into hidings whenever they are caught in open areas. During breeding seasons male nod their head rhythmically and change their body appearance from brown to different bright colours to attract female for a courtship.

They normally change into bright orange and dark shining blue colours which make female to fake a sexual arousal by turning their hind part toward male who will chase them until they catch and mount them.

It is at this point sometime male will node their head vigorously, chase and fight each other by using their long tails as weapons until losers are pushed away from territories.

Male claim an area as a territory whereby other mature males are not allowed in but juveniles and six or more females may stay with him in the same location, although it’s not common but during hatching female may fight or chase an intruding fellow in order to protect her eggs. Agama lizard are sometime called dragon lizard and there are found in different species such as agama aculeata, agama agama and agama lionotus.

Mjusi Kafiri is the Swahili name for agama, some people in Nyamanoro, Igoma, Pasiansi, Bwiru and other suburbs of Mwanza associate thunder and lightning with the agama lizard. Whenever it rains in one of these areas don’t be surprised if you see your friend running away from the site. In some streets of Mwanza town like Makoroboi people call these lizards Gongamawe because of the habit of nodding their heads.

The Sukuma also use Gomomhole for the agama lizards because they believe that the reptile will nod its head even when climbing on top of an elephant regardless of their difference in size and shape.

Enyangala is the name for Agama lizards among the Waikizu of Bunda while Sukuma people of Mwanza and Shinyanga call these fast moving lizards Zare, the Wanata, Waikoma and Wangoreme people of Serengeti believe that the red headed agama lizard has magical power of deterring thunder and lightining from heating them. At the same time, from the banks of Mount Kilimanjaro to Serengeti plains an inexperienced honey collector may spend a daylong walk from one tree to another searching for honey.

But to those who know how to make friendship with some birds this activity is very simple because the professional harvester of this delicious jelly will simply do one thing, and this is to look for bee eaters who may take him to his destination.

These are small birds which are easily seen in the savannah because of their bright colours. The Northern Carmine Bee eater is the dominant specie of these birds which dwell in the sacred land of the Datoga people in the savannah forest around mount Hanang the fourth tallest mountain in Tanzania with its peak standing 3,420 meters above sea level.

The main diet of these birds is made by bees which they hunt from a strategic position in the grassland where a prey is picked in midair while flying from one location to another.

It is a swift attack which the bird uses its long beak to target locusts, grasshoppers and other flying insects but its prime food is made by bees which they aim, attack and snatch before going back to their own colonies on the banks of Dongobesh stream.

In this vast plains huge colonies of bee eaters may be seen on the banks of Endalah river inside lake Manyara national park but they are also available on the shores of lake Basuto which is surrounded by a savannah forest that are used by colonies of these birds during breeding seasons.

Normally bee eaters nest in a very large colony in a cliff or near river banks where they use their long beak to dig horizontal 243.84 centimeters long tunnels which they use for breeding for many years before they decide to shift to another location. Their long stay in one location depends on different factors but availability of bee colonies in the savannah plains around water bodies in Basuto play an important role. When this happens some bee eaters may refuse to leave and start a remnant colony which grow with not less than hundred breeding birds.

Wherever they are, Bee eater are clearly seen due to bright colours but the noise which they make during flight is what helps honey hunters from the Datoga or Barabaig tribal to notice and follow them to a nearest bee nestle around savannah plains in and around Hanang district.

This is a symbiosis relation between human community and avian society around mount Hanang where bee eaters lead honey harvesters to a bee nestle in the middle of savannah forest, at this point the Datoga get honey and the bird eat bee, among Barbaig society Bung’eda is main ceremony which comes after a sequence of different rituals which are meant to beatification and beautification of an elder man after his death and this organized by his family but controlled by the community.

AFRICA witnessed a big shame few days ...

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Author: Reginald Matillya

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