James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

Friday Photo: Unexpected Visitors

They say that a camel can smell water. I’m not sure if that’s true, but they do have a knack of turning up at camp. Late one night, Tino our expedition doctor was up taking star trail photographs. Strangely though, he was sure he could hear a rattling commotion in the distance, perhaps behind a nearby dune. After ruling out the likelihood of local Bedu having set up camp, I realised this was suspiciously where we had laid a set of small mammal traps. I had heard of foxes attacking trapped mammals in the night, and concerned we cautiously approached with torches straining against the pitch black. Out of the gloom loomed the the huge figure of a camel and another and another. They had apparently discovered our peanut butter mammal bait, but they were a little larger than our intended targets. The foremost camel peered back at me inquisitively and innocently. We caught more camels than we did gerbils or jerboas. They were still loitering the next morning, and I took this photograph.





Sign up to receive one email a month with the best bits from the blog..Newsletter