Tag Archives | facts


Interesting facts on Cape clawless otters (Aonyx capensis).

When walking along the Plettenberg Bay beaches animal tracks can often be seen in the sand. These tracks usually belong to mongooses, dogs, small wild cats, numerous bird species and the ever elusive otters. In South Africa there are two species of otter, the Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the Spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicolll). […]

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General facts about southern right whales

Globally there are 3 different species of right whale; the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica), North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis). These three species look similar, but are divided into 3 separate species because they are geographically and genetically isolated from each other. The first part of […]

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General facts on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Humpback whales are baleen (filter feeder) whales and belong to the Balaenoptera family. They are probably the most easily recognisable and familiar of all the large whale species in the world. Their scientific name Megaptera novaeangliae is derived from the Greek words “mega” meaning large and “pteron” meaning wing (referring to their long pectoral flippers […]

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Interesting facts about Dugongs (Dugong dugong) and Manatees (Trichechidaesp.).

Dugongs (Dugong sp.) and manatees (Trichechidaesp.) are the two existing families of the order Sirenia or sea cows. The name Sirenia comes from Greek mythology meaning mermaid. Sirenia’s are unique among all marine mammals since they are strictly herbivores. There are three living species of manatees and one of dugongs, but out of the two, […]

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Interesting facts on Heart urchin (Echinocardium cordatum).

A lot of different shells can be found along South African beaches. In Plettenberg Bay Pansy shells are the most famous shell, but the brittle shell of their cousins, the Heart urchins (Echinocardium cordatum), can also be found. Sea urchins (Echinoidea) belong to the phylum Echinoderms and are related to Sea stars (Asteroidea), Sea cucumbers […]

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ARKive image ARK019585 - Common octopus

Interesting facts on Octopuses.

Octopuses belong to the phylum Mollusca which also includes mussels, snails and nudibranchs .They belong to the class Cephalopoda (head-footed) together with squids, cuttlefish  and nautilus. Cephalopods have well developed eyes and a ring of tentacles surrounding their mouth. Cephalopods are key species in the food chain because they are an important food source for […]

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Interesting facts on the Knysna seahorse (Hippocampus capensis)

Sea horses (hippocampus) are fish that can be recognized by their horse-like head that is right angled to the body and a muscular tail that they use as an anchor. Sea horses are well camouflaged and are generally found holding onto sea grass stems, coral heads or artificial reefs where they sit and ambush their […]

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Facts on the African Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini)

The African Black Oystercatcher is a marine bird that is endemic to South Africa and Namibia. They are large black birds with a striking orange/red bill, eyes and legs. They can be found on rocks and beaches along most of the coast line. Despite their name they mainly feed on mussels, limpets and mussels worms […]

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Ragged-tooth shark (Carcharias taurus).

Spotted Ragged-tooth sharks (Carcharias taurus), also known as sand tiger or grey nurse sharks can be found along the south and east coast of South Africa. They are usually found alone or in small groups, but can aggregate in groups of 20-80 individuals. Raggies are mostly found hovering motionless just above the seabed near shallow […]

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Interesting facts about Bryde´s whales (Balaenopetra brydei spp.)

Bryde’s whales (Balaenopetra brydei) are resident in South African coastal waters and can be seen in Plettenberg Bay all year round. Bryde’s whales are divided into two forms, inshore and offshore, and studies have shown that these are genetically separate subspecies. They were first described off South Africa by Ørjan Olsen, a Norwegian whaler in […]

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