During our brief visit to the Sahara Desert on a tour of Morocco I took a series of photos of the desert, the plants of the desert and some of the tracks seen in the sand. I guess I expected the sand dunes to be pristine, perhaps a little windswept and certainly not covered in all kinds of tracks. Sure – a few footprints like those in the photo of our tour group shown above.
In some parts of the desert through which we travelled on our camel rides into and out of the Sahara I saw many wheel tracks as well. Some of the tracks were obviously those of people walking, larger ones were certainly camel tracks and yet others were motor bike and four wheel drive vehicles.
But what about those shown immediately below? Are they bicycle tracks? I didn’t see anyone riding a bike, but I guess that with the right tyres and plenty of energy it might be possible.
I have no doubt about the tracks shown in the following photo. I am almost certain that this photo shows the track of a small reptile, though it was obviously out and about before I had climbed the sand dune near our camp site. I have no idea what kind of reptile made this track. It may have been a small lizard or a skink or gecko. If my readers can identify this, please let me know in the comments.
Just as puzzling are the tracks shown in the photo below. Are they from a bird? They appear to be of a hopping bird but I am not totally convinced. The only birds I saw on our brief visit to this part of the desert were some House Sparrows near our camp site, and some blue-grey finch-like birds on the camel ride into the desert. Sadly, the motion of the camel I was riding prevented me getting an identifiable photo.
While I am not an expert on reptiles, this is one species with which I am familiar. The Red-bellied Black Snake is one of the most easily identified of Australia’s snake species. It can be quite aggressive and quite venomous.
I am happy to report that I’ve only ever seen this species on a handful of occasions. Probably the most dramatic was one that slithered over the top of my boot while I was engrossed in bird watching. I’m not sure if my feet touched the ground for several metres as I leapt away in fright. I guess the snake received just as big a fright. It sure shook me up for a few minutes. I prefer to watch snakes in the safety of zoo enclosures, like this one at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
On our visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney earlier this year I took a few good shots of various reptiles, including the lizards shown on this page. I am really floundering to identify these wonderful creatures. I wish I knew more about reptiles. If any of my readers can help me I’d be most grateful. Are they Chameleons?
Update: Thanks to one of my readers I can now put a name to these species. The top one is a Common Iguana from America, while the one below is one of the Fijian Iguanas.
I’m not really into reptiles and so I can’t remember what kind of lizard this one is. It was in the reptile house at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney. If any of my readers can identify it, I’d be very grateful. This is also a reminder to myself to get hold of a good identification guide to reptiles.