Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Namibian Beetle

I have always been a big fan of the Beatles (the hairy musician type) but I am not so keen on the black, vicious looking, creepy crawly type, although I do have a sort of horrified fascination for them. Just lately we seem to have had an invasion of them in our living room and I am constantly having to turf them out into the garden where they belong.

The only beetle I have ever really liked (apart from the Ladybird) is a beetle I came across while travelling in Namibia in 2007 called the Upside Down Beetle.

This clever little chap survives in the desert by crawling to the top of a sand dune at night where it basically turns upside down on to its head allowing moisture brought in by the sea mists to run down grooves in its back and into its mouth. Amazing and kind of cute looking too:-)

When one is in the desert it is hard to imagine that anything could live there for long but there's a surprising amount of wildlife that has adapted and evolved to survive the harsh environment

While we were sitting round the camp fire one evening, under an Acacia tree, (yes we were camping!) our Namibian guide asked what dangerous creatures we had in England. He seemed to find it hard to believe that all we could manage was the Adder and that it rarely kills anyone. The next morning, while the camp was being dismantled (we were moving on to the Skeleton Coast) a beautiful but poisonous Coral snake made its way out of a hole in the same Acacia Tree we had been sitting under the previous evening.

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