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The Waterberg cycad

5 December 2013

 

www.leopard.tvThe discovery of the Waterberg cycad is closely interwoven with the life of the naturalist Eugène Nielen Marais, who was born in Pretoria on 9 January 1871 and is generally regarded as the father animal behaviour in South Africa. He spent part of his life in the Waterberg and first brought the it and its varied natural wonders and beauty to the attention of naturalists and scientists throughout the world early in the 20th Century. He was a remarkably gifted writer, poet and naturalist and became a pioneer in the study of animal behaviour.

Eugène Marais led a controversial and complex life and originally came to the Waterberg to prospect for minerals and to seek solitude from the stresses and strains of a life that had seen him lose his young wife soon after the birth of their only child, a son. This inter alia led him to seek refuge in the use of morphine which at that time was generally available and was being used in all sorts of medication... (To see more become a Green subscriber)

 

References:

Earle, C J (Ed). 2012. Encephalortos euegene-maraisii. The Gymnosperm database. http://www.conifers.org/za/Encephalartos_eugene-maraisii.php

Walker, C and J du P Bothma 2005. The Soul of the Waterberg. Houghton: Waterberg Publishers and African Sky Publishing.

By: Prof J du P Bothma

 

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