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P is for… Palm Nuts

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The palm nuts, the fruit of the palm tree, is a much coveted food item for many of the animal inhabitants of Africa, especially during the dry season, when grasses and shrubs are in low supply.

The noisiest palm nut forager has to be the elephant.  You might not realise it, but the elephant is normally a very quiet animal; its padded feet make very little sound as it walks.  It is a different story, however, when it goes after pine nuts. Palm nuts grow in clusters at the top of palm trees and even the elephant’s long and agile trunk cannot reach that high.

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This is no deterrent though, at least not to a large elephant.  He simply grabs the tree trunk with his own trunk and gives a mighty shake.  The sound of the rumbling vibrations and cascading nuts can be heard from miles across the open countryside.

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The large fellow above soon had a pile of nuts at his feet, and he wasn’t sharing with the smaller guy.  He was happy to show the ropes to the adolescent under his tutelage, but not to share! The youngster tried to copy but just didn’t have the strength to move the large tree.

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These photos were taken in Kijera in Botswana.

Linked to Tagged PPP challenge, ABC Wednesday and Alphabe Thursday.

17 replies »

  1. I am fascinated by the social behavior of elephants. I learned recently that they actually cry when they are sad. Thanks for this new info on palm nuts. Do people ever eat them??

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  2. I must agree with Frizztext ~ this is master storytelling. That’s a gift. The pictures are so awesome as they truly give eyes to your words.

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  3. I was surprised by your storytelling: “1 – The noisiest palm nut forager has to be the elephant. You might not realise it, but the elephant is normally a very quiet animal; its padded feet make very little sound as it walks… – 2 …He simply grabs the tree trunk with his own trunk and gives a mighty shake. The sound of the rumbling vibrations and cascading nuts can be heard from miles across the open countryside… – 3 … The youngster tried to copy but just didn’t have the strength to move the large tree…” a triple PPP-storytelling award!

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  4. Who knew? Being able to observe interesting animal behavior is one of the best parts of being on safari. I love that the bigger elephant wasn’t willing to share his bounty. Too funny!

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    • Yes, I could sit for hours watching them. Elephants are particularly interesting because of their social structure. They look after the babies so caringly, but once they are older they obviously need to be taught to be independent!

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