An unusual photographic opportunity of Plains Zebra (Equus burchelli) in courtship. The Zebra is the product of some 60 million years of evolution and none of that would have happened without a little copulation here and there. The Burchell’s Zebra forms into single-male harem groups which are not necessarily territorial, and being nomadic in nature. Harem females maintain a dominance hierarchy and usually continue to associate with the harem group, even if the stallion changes. The mare in this image is displaying a very typical mare-in-heat face, common during estrus, which lasts 5-10 days. The stallion of this species usually participates in gentle courtship through mutual grooming and commonly resting the chin on the back of the croup.
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III/EF70-200mm IS USM +1.4x III; 1/1,250 sec; f/4.0; ISO 200; 280mm)
Picture ©2015 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography
British born social photographer John Rankin Waddell, better known simply as Rankin, is a contemporary portrait and fashion photographer who also publishes fashion and related magazines. He is well known for donation of his services to high profile charity work. Rankin has written several books.
“There’s a time when people say your work is revolutionary, but you have to keep being revolutionary. I can’t keep shooting pop stars all my life. You have to keep changing, keep pushing yourself, looking for the new, the unusual.”
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Stuck in darkest Africa, lost in the wild and loving it! Don’t let me out of here…
Two Plains Zebras (Equus burchelli) grazing; each one sporting its own unique pattern of stripes, apparently no two being the same. These animals organise themselves socially around a harem of females overseen by a stallion. New harems are formed when fillies in estrous are abducted from established harems by young stallions (4-8 years) intent on forming their own. Fillies impregnated by an abductor stallion will usual remain with her mate. The word zebra appear to originate from Portuguese (although some suggest it is of Italian origin), used to describe the Iberian wild ass (which is Spanish was called the cebra).
(Canon EOS 7D; f/8; 1/1500sec; ISO-400; 275mm)
Picture ©2013 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography
Three Zebras (Equus quagga) pause in front of a magnificent pair of Real Fan Palms or Northern Ilala Palm (Hyphaene petersiana or H. benguellensis) in the Zambezi Valley. The origins of the palm in the Zambezi Valley, whatever is species, may seem obviously up-stream, or did they come up from the coast (then which coast, west or east)? The palm is found in abundance in the Victoria Falls area. Both palms yield an edible pith and material from the leaves is suitable for weaving. They produce clusters of fruits, hard, brown, ball-shaped, the core of which is a hard white substance frequently call vegetable ivory. Both baboons and elephant eat this fruit. The Southern Ilala or Lala Palm (H. Natalensis), apparently reaches much greater height than the Real Fan Palm and is more commonly distributed in the southern Zimbabwean Lowveld, where Shangaan tribesmen are known to reap the sap of the palm apparently for wine making.
(Canon 7D; f/5.6; 1/200sec; ISO-125; 105mm)
Picture ©2012 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography
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Another record shot, I am afraid, but the burning question is whether this would have been better in monochrome or not. Perhaps the most ‘contrasty’ animal in Africa, the zebra (apparently reclassified to be known as Equus quagga – formerly Equus burchelli), an ungulate, may be found in many parts of the central and eastern part of the continent. Stallions have the wonderful delight of running harems, but this is actually quite hard work involving the abduction of fillies and fighting of suitors with similar interests in the same young ladies. Once they have build up a family, the stallion play an active role defending its patch. Predators, including lions, hyena and wild dog are known to take zebra, risking serious injury from being hooved by these hard kicking beasts.
(Canon 50D; f/5,6; 1/250sec; ISO-160; 260mm)
Picture ©2011 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography