Think the sand dunes outside Swakopmund in Namibia are barren? Join Tommy Collard on a Living Desert Tour and he’ll prove that every patch of sand is a gold mine of fascinating creatures for those who know how to look. Read about our adventure with Tommy or discover 15 facts about Swakopmund’s dunes and desert creatures.
4. Peringuey’s adder has eyes on top of its head so it can hide in the sand and still watch for something to catch and eat. It’s also called a sidewinder because of the way it moves, with only half of its body touching the hot sand at any time.
5. A sidewider’s mouth opens to 180 degrees and it has a heart with three chambers. It reproduces by live birth and the babies are just as dangerous as a full-grown adult.
7. The endemic golden mole is blind but it can ‘swim’ through the sand, covering some 4-6km a night.
8. The Palmato gecko can’t blink so it wipes sand from its eyes with its tongue.
10. A Namaqua chameleon is the fastest chameleon in the world, moving at speeds of up to 3km/h.
11. If a Namaqua chameleon’s tongue was a car it could accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 1/100th of a second, according to a study at Brown University.
13. Scorpions are among very few creatures of the Namib dunes that provide care to their offspring; they carry their babies on their backs.