Imagine a living work of art, a miniature tree that evokes a sense of tranquillity and harmony with nature. Such is the allure of the bonsai tree, an enchanting creation that captures the hearts of nature enthusiasts and artists alike. Bonsai, derived from the Japanese words bon, meaning tray or pot, and sai, meaning planting, or to plant, is a centuries-old practice of growing and nurturing trees in shallow containers, transforming them into exquisite living sculptures.
Have you seen a snake in your garden recently? We are fortunate to have about 120 species of snakes in South Africa. As part of a citizen science initiative, the National Museum’s Animal and Plant Systematics Department – Herpetology Division is managing a Facebook group called Free State Reptiles and Amphibians (including adjacent areas and Lesotho) which seeks to gather photographic and videographic records of all reptiles and amphibians found in this region.
Rumex crispus is an invasive plant species found worldwide. In English, it is known as curley or curly dock, yellow dock, narrow-leaf dock, and sour dock. It is known as ubuhlunga in Xhosa and idolo lenkonyana in Zulu. In Afrikaans, it is known as krultongblaar and occasionally weeblaar.
Sharon Holt, Beryl Wilson, Daryl Codron and Liora Kolska Horwitz.
Studies of leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) deaths in South Africa’s central interior have revealed the devastating role played by electric fences. Data on tortoise mortality show that adult female tortoises are especially vulnerable to electrocution, which in turn negatively impacts on reproduction and growth of the population.
Image credit: An Atlantic Mudskipper rests on the sandy beach of the aqua-terrarium.
The National Museum is pleased to announce that its latest live display, Atlantic Mudskippers, has been reopened! Atlantic Mudskippers 𝑃𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑝ℎ𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑙𝑚𝑢𝑠 𝑏𝑎𝑟𝑏𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑠 (Atlantiese Klimvis) are aquatic fish that spend much of their life out of water, breathing through their skin or using water stored in their gills.