VM photos

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Other Citizen Science projects managed by or in partnership with the ADU:

  AFRING  |   BIRP: Birds in Reserves  |   CAR: Bird Roadcounts  |   CWAC: Waterbirds  |   MyBirdPatch  |   rePhotoSA  |   SAFRING: Bird Ringing  |   SABAP2: Bird Atlas 2

Citizen Science Journal:

  Biodiversity Observations

Other Project Web Sites:

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Latest news

2015-09-29 Rene Navarro 
Virtual Museum Stats for Heritage Hunt

Summary stats prepared by Megan Loftie-Eaton and Les Underhill for the record submissions to the Virtual Museum during the ADU's Spring Citizen Science Week (19 - 27 September).

Almost 2000 records submitted in 9 days!! Awesome! 


Project Record Total Top Contributor
LepiMAP 770 Altha Liebenberg
BirdPix 254 Dave Rimmer
OdonataMAP 188 Jacobus Labuschagne
PHOWN 186 Pieter Cronje
MammalMAP 132 Dewald du Plessis
TreeMAP 110 Christopher Willis
SpiderMAP 64 Len de Beer
ReptileMAP 56 Justin Bode
ScorpionMAP 44 Paul Bester
FrogMAP 32 Christopher Willis
OrchidMAP 25 Hermann Staude
MushroomMAP 18 Dewald du Plessis
LacewingMAP 18 Justin Bode
FishMAP 16 Carl Huchzermeyer
EchinoMAP 1 Lindile Cele
TOTAL 1914  
2015-09-28 Megan Lategan 
Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus)

Mad Mammal Monday!

The drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is one of the most endangered of all African primates. It is a large short-tailed forest baboon, which displays pronounced sexual dimorphism. The males can grow up to twice the size of females!

Drills are active during the day and occur in small troops of around 20 individuals, usually composed of a single dominant male, related females and their offspring. In times of food abundance, these small groups may congregate, forming large groups of over 100 individuals.

Vocal communication is very important for troop cohesion in the dense forests that they inhabit; two distinct 'grunt' calls have been identified and these may be important in keeping contact between group members.

A female will usually give birth to a single infant; whilst daughters remain in their natal group, males will disperse, once they have reached maturity, to join a new troop.

Drills mainly forage on the ground or in the lower levels of the trees, and are generally fruit eaters, although they will also take a range of plants, seeds and insects.

This species has an extremely restricted range; the mainland subspecies is known only from the Cross River in Nigeria to the Sanaga River in Cameroon. The Bioko drill is found on the southern tip of the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea.

Please submit your mammal photos to our Virtual Museum and help us build 21st century distribution maps for African mammals! Visit and register: http://vmus.adu.org.za
~Megan Lategan

References: http://www.arkive.org/drill/mandrillus-leucophaeus/

2015-09-07 Megan Lategan 
Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni)

Mad Mammal Monday

The Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) is named after Johan Bryde, who helped construct the first South African whaling factory in the early 1900s.

Bryde's whales are closely related to several other fast swimming, medium-to-large whales all with a similar body shape and which may be confused with each other when viewed at sea. This group includes sei, minke and fin whales.

The Bryde’s whale is well known for its prominent dorsal fin is set about three-quarters back along the body and has a very arched trailing edge.

Bryde's whales become sexually mature at 8-13 years of age and may mate year round. The peak of the breeding and calving season may occur in the autumn. Females breed every second year, with a usual gestation period of 11-12 months. Females give birth to a single calf that is about 3.4 m in length that is nursed for about 6-12 months.

Bryde's Whale Distribution

Bryde's whale current distribution

~Megan Lategan






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© Animal Demography Unit 2016
Department of Biological Sciences - University of Cape Town

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