Cape ground squirrel

Cape ground squirrel

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Credit: PETER CHADWICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inauris) in a confrontation with a puff adder (Bitis arietans). This rodent lives in arid open areas where it digs an extensive burrow system. The burrow is occupied by a colony of between 5-30 squirrels and is defended rigorously against potential intruders. Here the squirrel is attempting to drive the puff adder away from its territory. It is, however, itself a target for this venomous snake, which preys on rodents. Photographed in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa.

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Keywords: animal, attacking, bitis arietans, cape ground squirrel, fighting, kalahari gemsbok national park, mammal, nature, poisonous, predator, prey, puff adder, reptile, rodent, snake, south african, toxic, venomous, wildlife, xerus inauris, zoology

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