Okay, I could google this question, but I’d rather leave it as a comment so your blog gets credit for comments!
Why the “girdled” in the name?
And these are very nice photos, Ed. I even clicked to look at the other place (the most southernmost point). I think either place would be a blast to visit! I appreciate you sharing your travels this way.
Looks like a tiny alligator or a crocodile. Very strange indeed. I will look up the scale of these creatures, too. Since you do not describe tourists turning and running for it, I gather these guys are pretty small.
And I too do not get girdled in the name. Off to Google.
Uhm, I wonder if John Howe based his depiction of the dragon Glaurung on this very saurian: http://maryvictrix.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/glaurung.jpg
I think that “girdle” refers to the annuli of scales around the tail, base to tip.
Just checked – according to Rose (“The Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern Africa”), this is the case. The arrangement of the caudal scales is especially obvious because they’re large, imbricate and conspicuous.
Nice one. We had a lovely blue-headed tree-dwelling species on the east coast of South Africa.
I must disgree with you about Cape Agulhas though. It has a wind-swept beauty of its own – uninhabited with lots of seals and great whites and a large number of wrecked boats. Quite different from the highly touristy Cape Point.
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