Mammals - Africaraw

Etosha National Park

This Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) was very inquistive about what I was doing, as we had a lunch break in Nossob camp. I had just a moment to shoot before he went his busy way. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park,, South Africa.

Biology Note:- mongoose are resistant to paralysing snake neurotoxin. Normally nerve acetylcholine binds to a muscle receptor, like a key fits a lock, to activate the muscle. Snake neurotoxin also fits the lock, thus competing for the binding site and thus producing paralysis. This toxic binding does not occur in mongoose (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89, 7717;1992)

Note the horizontal slit pupil. This is also seen in other mammals e.g. goats. It is associated with multifocal lenses. i.e. concentric rings of different focal lengths. A round pupil would negate any advantage of such a lens when it constricted. Whereas the slit pupil will decrease the amount of light when it constricts and yet retain the full multifocal focussing properties

Kgalagadi transfrontier parkNossob campSouth AfricaYellow Mongoose Cynictis penicillata