The Ornithology Department of the National Museum is calling upon members of the public to look out for the Red- Billed Buffalo- weaver in the Free State and to report any sightings. From the distribution data available, this weaver is now extinct to the Free State. Deforestation of large tracks of camel thorn savannah for agriculture and firewood has been identified as the likely cause of the local extinction of this weaver.
The Red-billed Buffalo-weaver is a large, heavy-billed weaver that has a red to orange coloured bill. The male has black plumage and its flank feathers are mottled with white. The female’s plumage is more brownish black and the feathers on the belly are slightly scaled.
With Election Day around the corner (8 May 2019 will be the sixth democratic elections in South Africa) it is important that we are once again reminded of and celebrate our right to vote.
Throughout history most societies believed women to be inferior to men. Women were also thought to be less intelligent. Since ancient times the lives of most women centered around their children and homemaking. In most countries women had no or a very limited political voice.
To commemorate Freedom Day on 27 April 2019, Oliewenhuis Art Museum celebrates the work of Elza Botha that is currently on view as part of the exhibition Centennial, A Century of South African Art from the Sanlam Art Collection, 1918 – 2018 on display in the Main Building. The content of both artworks and the courage of the artist to produce these works during the height of apartheid make these artworks relevant celebrating the first democratic election on 27 April 1994.
For over three centuries Robben Island, an offshore island within sight of the City of Cape Town, was used by successive governments as a penal settlement and isolation centre. Its detention centres served to safeguard the surrounding society. From the outset the island’s institutions followed a treatment regime that was harsh. During the apartheid years (1948 – 1994), it served as the primary place of detention for anti-apartheid activists who fought for the overthrow of the minority-ruled state.
Hitchhiking is a time-honoured tradition for many a backpacker, and is an inexpensive way of covering the distance between destinations. Nature, of course, has its own version called phoresis or phorecy. In this case a phoront (the hitchhiker) attaches itself to a host and travels along until said host reaches a suitable destination, where the phoront will then detach again.
Pseudoscorpions have mastered this art to the extent that some species even require phoresis to survive. Pseudoscorpions themselves are an ancient order of tiny predatory arachnids, usually no more than 3mm in size, that superficially resemble true scorpions but lack the elongated tail and sting. Many species possess venom which they can inject into prey from small venom teeth at the ends of their pincers. This makes the Pseudoscorpiones one of only three arachnid orders that possess venom, the other two being true spiders (Araneae) and true scorpions (Scorpiones). Pseudoscorpions occur in almost every part of the world, though most species are found within the tropics and subtropics.