Boat House at Thekkady:

Scenic Periyar lake Boat House at Thekkady, Idukki District Kerala, India.Thekkady Boat1

Thekkady has one of the largest wildlife sanctuary in India is a dream destination. The Country’s sole Tiger reserve, Periyar, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture.

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The most popular activity that a tourist can enjoy in Thekkady is boating in the Periyar lake. One can see the wild animals along the bank of the river foraging, bathing, drinking and resting. It would be a greater fun if one is lucky enough to see the elephants playing with their babies in the lake.

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Antlers & Horns of Deer:

The terms horns and antlers are often used interchangeably, but in reality, they refer to quite different structures. Antlers are a pair of bony, branched structures that protrude from the frontals of the skull of animals and are shed annually; horns are also paired and protrude from the frontal, but they are permanent, unbranched, and made up of a bony core and a keratinized sheath.

Antlers are one of the most easily recognized characteristics of the family Cervidae. They are present only in males (with the exception of caribou) and are capable of growing astoundingly large.Caribou and reindeer use their antlers to clear away snow so they can eat the vegetation underneath. This is one possible reason that females of this species evolved antlers. Another possible reason is for female competition during winter foraging.

Males use their full-grown antlers during the breeding season in social interactions in competition for females. In winter, pituitary antler-growth hormone stimulation decreases as day length shortens, and androgen secretion lessens. As a result, the pedicel loses calcium, weakening the point of connection between it and the antler, and eventually the antlers are shed. Males then are without antlers for a few months in late winter until the cycle begins again. Curiously, some cervids have large canine teeth, which are used in sexual displays and fighting. Often species with large canines have small antlers or are missing antlers altogether.

As antlers near the end of the growing process, spongy bone in their outer edges is replaced by compact bone, while their centers become filled with coarse, spongy, lamellar bone and marrow spaces. The velvet dies and is removed in part by the animals rubbing and thrashing their antlers against vegetation. The antlers also are stained during this action, giving them the brown, polished, wooden look.

HORNS:

Horns occur in males of all species of Bovidae, and females often bear them too. Horns are composed of a bony core covered with a sheath of keratin. Unlike antlers, horns are never branched, but they do vary from species to species in shape and size.

 

Tiny Wonder – Hamster:

Hamsters close up from my archive.

Interesting Facts about Hamsters:

Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. Hamsters are nocturnal, sleeping during the hot days and playing in the cooler evenings. They have very poor eyesight, colorblind and can see only up to 6 Inches in front of them but have a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing. Most species of hamsters have expandable cheek pouches in which they can carry food and bedding back to their burrow where they will store food.

With potential life span of 2-3 years adult body weighs 100-150 grams (adult females are slightly larger than adult males) and Hamsters react to their names; can dig up to 3 Meters in the wild and remembers their relatives. Only a few hamster species are widely kept as pets but the hamster is the most popular of the smaller rodents kept as a pet in many countries today. So sad they are widely being used in test & research laboratories Worldwide!

Crocodile and Tortoise- Friend or Foe?

No idea how safe it is to house a crocodile and a tortoise together in a pond.

I took these images at crocodile bank, Chennai, India and as you can see the (Alligator) Crocodile and a tortoise living together dangerously. In my search about the facts and behavior of crocodiles with tortoise I found this Youtube video confirming the truth that crocodiles eats tortoise. Wish I am wrong and the Authorities are sure about the safety of these lovely little tortoises. There are many of them out there!

Please (Must) watch this less-than-a-minute Youtube video.

Crocodile Eats Tortoise..Very Crunchy!

 

 

The higher a monkey climbs….

…the more you see of his behind.
I’ve always been fascinated by the monkeys, and these close-up look at their faces just captivated me. Hope I have captured their emotions and personality(Hair style) in a very effective way.
There’s never a dull moment with monkeys around. There are plenty of them around my area hence one of my favorite subject for photography and I enjoy clicking them!
Snapped while this baby monkey was looking down and busily cracking a green ground nut; there are so many of them around my house and regularly visit my place. I often bribe them with some good fruits and ground nuts; make them come closer to get a handsome shot. Here is a few of them from my archive.

Here is a Flying Kiss from a Baby Monkey:-)

Gang Leader Monkey 😉
This tongue twisted, jaw torn, ear pierced ferocious gang leader monkey was in complete control of his troop.

At Sunset, planing to return home!

Unforgettable wildlife photographic trip:

During my last visit to Bangalore in May 2009, along with my cousins, family & kids we made a trip to Bannarghatta national park about 22 Km from Bangalore. That day weather at Bangalore was too hot, humid & uncomfortable and very much unlike Bangalore famous for. Traffic congestion also played its role to our discomfort as it took nearly two hours to reach Bannarghatta from cantonment area.

Weekend crowd was uncontrollable for the authorities and we had to stand for more than an hour in queue for the mini van to pick us up for the safari ride. After buying the tickets, while in middle of the queue of about 300 people or so, we discussed about the option of even quitting the place and return home. We couldn’t think of that even as there were at least 150 people packed behind us in the narrow Andaman cellular jail like arrangements and stayed back cursing our luck and waited with utmost patience for our turn to come. The place was so unclean, unhygienic, the rusted iron grilled and fenced path way, and the broken overhead roof asbestos sheets along the queue path bore a World War II era construction well preserved and maintained.

My main object of the trip was to snap some wild life pictures of the animals that are in open and real jungle like environment. Did I achieve that? No. The mini van drivers were probably instructed by the management to hurry up the safari as hundreds were still in queue behind us, toiling the weather and the pathetic conditions, waiting to be picked up.  As expected the wild roller coaster like drive was too jerky & bumpy and not all that conducive for photography. On each occasion we confronted some wild animals, driver stopped the vehicle only for a few minutes and I really didn’t get any good focus on those that I intended to capture. Pull & push from the co passengers to peep through the glass window to have a glimpse of the heat withered, sleepy & drowsy animals made my photography efforts worst.

There are other attractions too here, a butterfly park, crocodile farm; In addition, a portion of the park is used as a sanctuary for wild rescued animals. There is a zoo inside the park, which has deer’s, elephants, snake enclosures, aquarium, panther, zebra and the other usual animals. There is also a small museum and a forty five minutes film show on Animals!

We were too exhausted and tired to visit all other attractions (?) and straight headed for our car to return home.

The very next day we made a trip to Wonder La, the Amusement water theme park on Mysore road, Bangalore. What a wonderful experience it was?

Same weather conditions, same Bangalore, only difference is that,

Bannarghatta National park is run by the Government and the Wonder La is managed by a private corporate entity.

Here are some of the images of the animals taken during the ride. They are not of great quality but given the mood & conditions, I am happy that I could do at least to this extent.

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