The Hyracoides are represented by three genera Procavia, Dendrohyrax and Heterohyrax. These enjoy a wide distribution throughout Africa and the Middle East while the dassie or rock hyrax, Procavia capensis, occurs in particularly large numbers in Southern Africa. The vascular system of Hyracoldea shows differences within the species as well as differences from other mammals.
The central Namib desert inland from Walvis Bay, South West Africa, has a rainfall of 23 mm and a fog precipitation of 31 mm per annum at Gobabeb. The temperature range is only 6,5C in a year. The basic rock types of the area ate Damaran schists, marbles, quartzites and Salem granites. The processes responsible for the weathering are discussed, and reference is made to the role of salt crystallisation, fog, lichens, and insolation.
The three important predator species in South West Africa, lion Panthera leo, leopard Panthera pardus, and cheetahAcinonyx jubatus, are fully protected in the Etosha National Park and other proclaimed game reserves of the S.W.A. Administration , but are regarded as vermin in the rest of South West Africa and the three Northern Bantu territories. Because of the high economic loss to livestock caused by these predators they are not tolerated on farms and are destroyed by being shot dead, trapped in gintraps or poisoned with chemicals such as strychnine hydrochloride.
The question as to whether the black rhinoceros occurring in South West Africa should have subspecific status or not, is still a debatable point. This uncertainly is mainly due to a lack of sufficient material available to workers. Sixteen measurements were taken of each of the 18 black rhinoceros skulls collected in South West Africa. Similar measurements were then taken of each of the 20 skulls collected in Natal. These measurements were then analysed statistically. Mayr, Linsley and Usinger's (1953), interpretation of the 75 per cent rule parameter was used.
In this study the most important soils of the central Namib are discussed after a brief preliminary discussion of the climate. Precipitation consists of rain and fog, resulting in sparse vegetation, and succulent in sheItered places. Grass appears only after sufficent rain has fallen.
Thirty years elapsed since the discovery of Agama Makarikarica, before it was observed that it displayed a peculiar sand-shuttling behaviour. In thIs paper it is reported that it practices a kind of eye-popping as well. The possibility of an underlying hydraulic mechanism is discussed. A very peculiar distribution pattern in Southern Africa is recorded, together with new distribution records along the Etosha Pan.
The following observations were made during the period May, 1968 to March, 1969 while the author was engaged on avian faunal surveys for the Department of Nature Conservation and Tourism of the South West Africa Administration.
Welwitschia mirabilis, of the order Gnetales, cIass Gymnospermae, is a rare and strikingly bizarre plant. It is geographically restricted along the south-west coast of Africa to a narrow margin of the Namib, one of the world's most extreme deserts. The only species in the genus, Welwitschia survives in very severe locaIities where the annual rainfall is often less than 25 mm and where, in terms of precipitation, the coastal fog is equivalent to about a further 50 mm.
Although a considerable number of desert lizards have been studied, very few have been found to posses specific physiological adaptations to the desert environment. They escape the desert environment almost entirely by well defined adaptive behaviour. Old world forms of lizards however, might have exhibited more specialised adaptations.
The massive dune system of the southern and central Namib Desert supports a varied fauna. Even on the vegetationless dune crests and their slipfaces there lives a variety of endemic invertebrates, tenebrionid beetles in particular, as well as several highly specialized reptiles.
Very few species of the genus Hadogenes Kraepelin, 1984 have been recorded from South West Africa and it is thus interesting to have a new and unique species from Harus in the Uri-Hauchab mountains of the southern Namib desert.