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Ha-Ha to you too

Ha-Ha to you too
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-19
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 160
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-11-02 8:25
Viewed: 3487
Points: 83
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cape Mountain zebra / Equus zebra zebra

I could not understand why Loot was so eager to capture a Mountain Zebra, after all a zebra is just a zebra, just a donkey with pyjamas. That was my thoughts until I saw these animals closely for myself. They are indeed beautiful animals and the Burchell's zebra which I am used to is rather dull in comparison with its cousin. The dark and broad stripes on its body and the colour of its nose were really an attraction to me.

I was in my element when I saw the outcome of this specific photo, as in the almost 4 years I've been doing photography as a hobby, a scene like this was one of a few on my wish list. Loot and I pressed the buttons on our cameras on the same time and therefore we captured the same scene, but we are both delighted with the outcome.

Although it looks as if the zebra is laughing at a joke or that it is in search of a dentist, this behaviour is actually called the flehmen response. It describes the action of an animal analysing a scent signal. It is also referred to as the flehmen action or simply just flehming. You can read more about this in Loot's posting dealing with this subject at Like a Medicine

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus

Size Head-body length: 210–260cm
Shoulder height: 116–150cm
Weight: 240–372kg

Cape Mountain zebras are endemic to South Africa. This evocative icon of Africa is an immediately recognisable member of the horse family, characterised by its striking pattern of black and white stripes, which continue through into its short, erect mane. The Mountain zebra is discernable from other zebra species by the thin and relatively close-together vertical black lines on its neck and torso, which are narrower and more numerous than those of Burchell's zebra (Equus burchelli), and by the wide, horizontal bands on its haunches, which are broader than both those of Grevy's zebra and Burchell's zebra. Unlike Burchell's zebra, the Mountain zebra also lacks 'shadow stripes' and the stripes do not meet under the belly, which is instead white with a central black stripe. The most diagnostic features of this species, however, are the 'grid iron' pattern of narrow stripes across the rump and the square flap of skin, or dewlap, which exists on this zebra's throat. Aptly named, the Mountain zebra is a good climber on steep, rugged terrain and has evolved exceptionally hard and pointed hooves compared to other equines. The Cape Mountain zebra is the smallest living zebra, and differs from Hartmann's Mountain zebra by its smaller size, slightly thicker black stripes, and minor striping variations on the rump.

Found on mountainous slopes and plateaus. Cape Mountain zebras occur up to 2,000 meters above sea level, but move to lower elevations in the winter.

This gregarious species lives in breeding herds, consisting of one adult male, one to five adult females and their young. All members occupy a position within a social hierarchy headed by the dominant adult stallion, which is responsible for defending the herd. Breeding herds inhabit overlapping home ranges, with no evidence of territoriality, and sometimes herds will even join to form larger temporary populations of up to around 30 individuals. Surplus males live in bachelor groups, from which individuals periodically attempt to establish a new breeding herd with young females or take over an existing herd by displacing the dominant stallion. Nevertheless, breeding herds often remain stable over many years (up to 20 recorded), with mares usually remaining in a herd for life. New stallions may need to go through courtship of up to 3 years before the mares in a herd will accept their new stud.

This polygynous species breeds throughout the year, although regional birth peaks exist. Females produce a single foal every one to three years, after a gestation of approximately one year. Most Cape Mountain zebra young leave their maternal herds of their own choice between 13-37 months of age.

Mountain zebra are predominately diurnal, and are most active in the early morning and late afternoon to sunset. The herbivorous diet primarily consists of grass but also includes leaves and bark, and individuals of all ages also visit mineral licks, particularly during the summer. They must drink every day.

Despite its bleak outlook over the last century, concerted conservation efforts mean that Cape Mountain zebra numbers are now increasing. The Mountain Zebra National Park was established in 1937 to help save this subspecies, and there are a further two original sub-populations protected in Kamanassie Nature Reserve and Gamka Mountain Reserve. There are also currently about another 11 formally protected, reintroduced sub-populations, including those in Karoo National Park, Karoo Nature Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park, Commando Drift Nature Reserve, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Cape Point Nature Reserve and Tsolwana Game Ranch. Conservation efforts by the private sector have also had an important impact. The current conservation objective is to build up numbers to a target of 2,500 animals as quickly as possible in order to help ensure the long-term survival of the Cape Mountain zebra. Source

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

paolo49, PeterZ, corjan3, marius-secan, joska, vanda, Jakkals, cobra112, maaciejka, Csabesz68, Mamagolo2, cirano, drchoneydew, ferranjlloret, bungbing, pegos, Pitoncle, jlinaresp, uleko, Alex99, Argus, ramthakur, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna, Impressive photo! The composition is excellent, the colours are fantastic and the sharpness is spectacular beautiful smile of the zebra.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-11-02 8:32]

Hi Anna,nice to see something of funny on TN,a beautiful capture,great timing and very brilliant sharpness and colors,i like it!Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-11-02 8:51]

Hello Anna,
What a fantastic scene. I can understand why you are so happy with this photo.
Colours, sharpness and frontal POV with eye contact are very beautiful and impressive. Indeed very special with these brown noses.

Hello Anna,
A beautiful amusing and delighful image and an interesting note about the behaviour. Good to see your images from the Eastern Cape. The technical quality is excellent as always and this is just a pleasure to view. Very well done indeed. Best wishes.

A wonderful capture! Excellent pose and eye contact, perfect light, background and detail.
A photo which is greater than the sum of its parts! regards yiannis

Hello Anna,
Another masterpiece from close range.....
What a splendid capture with exceptional details.
Absolutely amazing composition with the two zebras.
The light and exposure are perfect as usual.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-11-02 10:02]

Hi Anna,
Excellent photo presentation of this Zebras,TFS!

Ciao Anna, great capture of lovely couple, good optical effect by B&W design, nice pose, excellent sharpness, fine details, splendid light and colors, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Good 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2011-11-02 10:51]

Hi Anna!
What a nice couple of Zebras: they are posing for you:))!
I love Zebra, it is the mascotte of my favorite football team.
Excellent capture Anna, with perfect light and focus. Great details.
Very well done: congratulations.
ciao! Vanda

wonderful capture Anna, congratulations !

excellent details and very nice colors and,

wonderful picture !

have a good time,

ciao, tino

Hello Anna,
Very good species with science.
Thanks for this share.
Have a good night.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2011-11-02 12:02]

Hi Anna,
very nice portrait of a beautiful zebras with nice smile.
Very good moment captured. Nice colours good composition and details.
Regards Jiri.

hello Anna
Super sharpness and great details
very nice pose of this head of the zebra
the colours are super good
thanks greeting lou

Hi Anna,
What exceptional timing! Superb capture of detail, eye contact and beautiful colours. Great work my friend.

Ciao Anna. Perfect DOF and amazing graphic contrasts. Very good light.


Hi Anna,
amazing colours, perfect point of view, great sharpness and composition. A lot of details.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Anna,
before I was reading your note, I was thinking about this specific smile... :-) I have seen on the Discovery Channel about this "smile"...
Spectacular moment, from close range, fabulous colors, very strong composition and great sharpness.

Hello Anna,
What a fantastic and funny photo! Great action shot and I agree with you that these Zebras are totally different from ours in the KNP. Beautiful colours with excellent details and brilliant sharpness.Very well done my friend.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2011-11-02 14:57]

Hello Anna,
A wonderful composition with excellent sharpness,colors and perfect point of view.

ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! love love this and your caption!! :0)

Hello Anna,
A very good captured of these Zebras, great timing, excellent sharpness, lovely eye-contact and beautiful natural colours,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day,
Best Regards,

Hello Anna,
escellent capture of this very interesting species
TFS, best regards

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-11-03 7:59]

Hello Anna,
splendid image of this couple in a fantastic position!
Super sharpness and fine detail. Excellent POV and very beautiful natural colours. Great depth. Very well done!
Thanks for sharing

Hello Anna,
Beautiful capture of these zebra taken from a good POV with natural colours and excellent sharpness. Composition and eye contact are also great. Well done!

Hi Anna, a very good capture of the zebra , superb sharpness, excellent composition with funny presentation.
Best regards

Bonjour Anna,
Splendide lumière pour cette très belle publication valorisant bien les sujets dans une attitude originale.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

nice pair, great colours, greetings Ori

Hello Anna,this is such a charming shot,it`s always a bonus to have your subject doing something,and of course the zebra posed perfectly!

Amazing scene Anna! Fantastic photo too!! The composition, the colours and the sharpness are excellent!!

Hello Anna,
ha....ha.... ha.... haaaa... :) Just great!... Well done!... I like a lot this very eloquent shot!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-11-06 9:32]

Hello Anna,
This is a brilliant photo of this beautiful species of Zebra that I'm not familiar with at all. You managed to capture the two of them in a fantastic pose and both are sharply in focus. I love their markings and colours that are shown so clearly here. They certainly seem to differ quite a bit from the 'usual' species.
Very well done!
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-11-06 9:36]

Hello Anna.
Wonderful composition in this beautiful image with good action, great camera work as always.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-11-07 2:41]

Hi Anna.
Wonderful scene and touching eye-contact. You managed to catch an amazing moment. Despite the lack of sunlight image is colourful and sharp. Details of the both animal are superb and surrounding are natural and fine too. Well done as usual. My compliments.

Hallo Anna,
Excellent capture of this duo. Amazing details & definite difference with the commonly found species. Thank God that flehmen action is not seen in humans!
Regards Subhash

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-11-08 13:05]

Hello Anna,
A brilliant, well timed capture of this pair of Zebras, not often seen on TN.
The composition suits the POV well, the caption suits the moment, and the zebras are senn with excellent sharpness and natural colours against their habitat BG.
gret to view!
Thanks and best regards,

Increible la belleza de esta pareja de cuadrúpedos... que solo veo en los reportajes de
naturaleza de tv :o) Excelente el entorno. Buen trabajo Anna.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-11-10 11:00]

Hello Anna,
I agree with you about this particular type of Zebra, they are absolutely gorgeous!1 I have never seen any with such beautiful coloring, especially around the face area. I have as you already stated, gotten used to the normal black and white colors.
I see the one behind has a chocolate colored coat, which in itself is very attractive. The smile or (flehming) is simply adorable. White-tailed Deer do the same thing when breeding season rolls around. Well done!!

Hey Miss Piggy, this is a great shot of the zebra. You did a great job capturing it. Have a great week, Bill

beautiful funny moment, great natural scene, with nice photo performance!
regards Nasos

The Flehmen action does give one of the Zebras a comic look, Anna. :)
Lovely image of these marvellous creatures of the wild. They appear so very content with their surroundings.
Your notes stand apart for their intensity of feelings.
Best regards.

  • Great 
  • Helio Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 44 W: 0 N: 16] (533)
  • [2011-12-03 5:57]

Hi Anna, excellent photo of these magnifics animals. Great!

Hallo Anno,
a fantastic capture of these Zebras taken from an excellent point of view in a spectacular posture, outstanding sharpness and marvellous natural colours
Best regards

Oh, This is great Anna! The behavior looks as though it is really laughing. I would have to say Grevy's are my first favorite then the Hartmann's zebra. Hopefully with the state the world is in, we do not fail to protect all the beautiful animals this planet has to offer, it's the least we can do. Anyway fantastic photo! :)

Hello Anna

Great timing to shoot this photo with a fine
frontal POV that gives these beautiful eye-contacts,



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