Monday, January 20, 2014

Dunes and Critters of the Namib Desert

The coastal dunes of Namibia might just be the perfect modern example of a Permian (or early Jurassic) landscape in northern Arizona or southern Utah. I took a tour one afternoon with the infamous Tommy, the pre-eminent naturalist of the Namib dunes (just ask him).

"Hereees Tommy!"

Tommy is keen to catch anything that crawls, slithers, burrows, or stings in the desert. Here he holds a Namqua chamaeleon.

It' a beautiful creature and they seem to enjoy Tommy's arrival each day.

That's because Tommy brings ample quantities of dune beetles for the chamaelons to eat! Their tongues are 1.5 times the length of their body.

There's plenty of worms too

How about a venomous sidewinder snake that was detected by using a hand-held temperature gun

I've never see a southwestern sidewinder but this one locomotes in a similar way

Spade-foot gecko. They use their spade feet to dig into the cooler sand.

Dune portfolio

Avalanche pattern

Are there really more stars that grains of sand?

Where the dunes meet the Atlantic. This very we'll could be a scene from the Toroweap/White Rim environment in northern Arizona and southern Utah 272 Ma. Gotta love it!

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