Kenya 2010: The Mara in Review (III)

Predators abound across the African Savanna.... always on the lookout for a place to hide, something to eat, and easy prey. With their keen eyes, large ears, and ultra-sensitive olfactory organs, predators are finely tuned to seek out the injured and feeble.
This morning's quick post is homage to the evolutionary process that has so carefully crafted the anatomy  and physiology of the carnivore. Be it gradual or punctuated, natural selection facilitates the retention of only the most adaptive characteristics while enabling the loss of traits that fail to perpetuate the species.
Graceful and lean, the cheetah is an ancient member of the family Felidae. Known for speed and maneuverability, she and her cubs scout the Mara in search of the weak and vulnerable. 
The Banded-mongoose belongs to the family Herpestidae. Thin and wiry like a mink, this predator takes on rodents, insects and serpents. Working among the collective, the mongoose is a fierce enemy of the cobra. 
The last image is of a Black-backed Jackal. Lurking among the tall grasses, these members of the family Canidae, seek out the dead and dying. They steal bits of food from abandoned carrion and hunt in the secrecy of night.
Here's to the predator.... crafty and lean... like all of Africa's wildlife, living on the edge.

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