Scratching Rock and Crater

June 03, 2014

Scratching stone_2

Photographer: James Van Gundy
Summary Author: James Van Gundy

While looking rather like a small impact crater this shallow depression was actually created by large herbivores rubbing against the large rock (approximately 1m x 1m) at the center. On the drier portions of the vast Serengeti Plain in Tanzania, trees are largely absent and the occasional large rock offers one of the few opportunities for a good scratch. Heavy use of these scratching stones by zebra, wildebeest and antelope keeps the area surrounding them nearly free of both trees and shrubs. In the absence of stabilizing vegetation, the hoof-pulverized soil is easily removed by the wind, thus excavating a shallow crater. Photo taken on November 5, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: DSLR-A100; Focal Length: 105.0mm (35mm equivalent: 157mm); Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 100; Software: DSLR-A100 v1.02.