Where do wildebeest live?
Wildebeest can be found in the plains and acacia savannas of Eastern Africa.
The wildebeest’s habitat is threatened by fragmentation, which is caused when land is fenced off, bisected by a highway, such as the proposed Serengeti Highway—a plan opposed by African Wildlife Foundation—or divided by some other method.
Our solutions to ensuring the wildebeest continues to thrive:
AWF works with government entities to help plan and propose alternative solutions to habitat fragmentation. In the case of the Serengeti Highway, AWF provides its scientists and researchers as resources to assist in proper planning to ensure a balance between modernization and conservation.
We engage communities to help with agricultural planning to provide tools and techniques for sustainable agricultural growth. By providing these resources, AWF is able to minimize impact on local wildlife while helping to maximize food security and income for people.
Did you know?
Each year, Millions of wildebeest and zebras trek 1,800 miles during the Great Migration.
Gyarados is a serpentine Chinese dragon-like Pokémon. It is mostly blue, with a yellow underbelly and yellow spots along its body. It has a three-pointed, dark blue crest on its head and four white fins down its back. Its mouth is very large and gaping, bearing four canine teeth. It has one barbel on each side of its face. The barbels are white on a female and the same color as the main body on a male.
Mega Gyarados is bulkier than its previous form. The fins on its face, its barbels, and its crest are now considerably longer. A large spike extends downward underneath its chin, and it now has a black underside. The yellow spots along its body are replaced by raised red scales that run with a single red stripe below them. Two large white fins appear on its back, similar to those on its face. Most of the other fins along its back disappear, except for the one near the tail. Instead, it now has four white, pointed fins near is tail: two on its back and two on its underside.
Its fangs can crush stones and its scales are harder than steel. Gyarados is infamously known for its fierce temper and wanton destructive tendencies, and is attracted to violence. In addition, Gyarados is also notoriously difficult to tame even after it is captured by the Trainer, usually requiring an exceptional amount of work in taming it until it can obey its Trainer. Gyarados usually lives in large bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds or even seas and oceans.
It appears to be based on a sea dragon or sea serpent. Gyarados is partially based on a legend about how carp that leapt over the Dragon Gate would become dragons. Several waterfalls and cataracts in China are believed to be the location of the Dragon Gate. This is referenced byPokémon Snap, as the player needs to get a Magikarp into a waterfall to evolve it into Gyarados. This legend is an allegory of the drive and efforts needed to overcome obstacles (which can be tied to the fact that Gyarados' pre-evolution, Magikarp, could possibly take a lot of drive and effort to legitimately evolve into Gyarados).
Gyarados may derive from 虐殺 gyakusatsu (massacre/slaughter) or 逆境 gyakkyō (hardship/adversity)—both words relate to the creature's violent nature and the hardship it experienced before evolving. In addition, 逆 gyaku means "reverse" or "contrary", possibly referring to how Gyarados evolves from a pathetically weak Pokémon to one capable of destroying entire cities, and, in legend, how the carp goes against the flow of the waterfall in order to reach the top. It may also involve 嵐 arashi (storm) or 争い arasoi (conflict, referencing on how it appeared during wars). The last part may be from ドス dosu (onomatopoeia for the piercing of flesh, again owing to Gyarados' violent nature). Alternatively, dos (Spanish fortwo) may indicate that it is the second in its evolutionary line.
The final act of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf is about the hero Beowulf's fight with a dragon, the third monster he encounters in the epic. On his return from Heorot, where he killed Grendel and Grendel's mother, Beowulf becomes king of the Geats and rules peacefully for fifty years until a slave awakens and angers a dragon by stealing a jewelled cup from its lair. When the dragon mercilessly burns the Geats' homes and lands, Beowulf decides to kill the monster personally. He and his thanes climb to the dragon's lair where, upon seeing the beast, the thanes flee in terror, leaving only Wiglaf to battle at Beowulf's side. When the dragon wounds Beowulf fatally, Wiglaf slays it.
This depiction indicates the growing importance and stabilization of the modern concept of the dragon within European mythology.Beowulf is the first piece of English literature to present a dragonslayer. Although many motifs common to the Beowulf dragon existed in the Scandinavian and Germanic literature, the Beowulf poet was the first to combine features and present a distinctive fire-breathing dragon. The Beowulf dragon was later copied in literature with similar motifs and themes such as in J. R. R. Tolkien'sThe Hobbit, one of the forerunners of modern high fantasy.
The dragon fight, occurring at the end of the poem, is foreshadowed in earlier scenes. The dragon fight symbolizes Beowulf's stand against evil and destruction, and, as the hero, he knows that failure will bring destruction to his people after many years of peace. The scene is structured in thirds, ending with the deaths of the dragon and Beowulf.
After his battles against Grendel and his mother, Beowulf returns to his homeland and becomes king of the Geats. Fifty years pass with Beowulf leading as a wise king, when a rampaging dragon (called a "wyrm" in the Old English) is angered when a slave enters his lair and takes a cup from its treasure, and attacks the neighboring towns in revenge. Beowulf and a troop of his men leave to find the dragon's lair. The men run away, leaving only Beowulf and his young companion, Wiglaf, to slay the dragon. Beowulf receives a fatal wound from the dragon, but Wiglaf impales the dragon's belly to reduce the flames, and Beowulf deals the fatal blow. In his death-speech, Beowulf nominates Wiglaf as his heir, and that of the treasure.
Beowulf is the oldest extant heroic poem in English literature and the first to present a dragonslayer. The legend of the dragonslayer already existed in Norse sagas such as the tale of Sigurd and Fafnir, and the Beowulf poet incorporates motifs and themes common to dragon-lore in the poem. Beowulf is the earliest surviving piece of Anglo-Saxon literature to feature a dragon, and the poet would have had access to similar stories from Scandinavian oral tradition; however, the original sources have been lost, which obscures the genesis of the Beowulf dragon. Secular Germanic literature and the literature of Christian hagiography featured dragons and dragon fights.Although the dragons of hagiography were less fierce than the dragon in Beowulf, similarities exist in the stories such as presenting the journey to the dragon's lair, cowering spectators, and the sending of messages relaying the outcome of the fight.
The dragon with his hoard is a common motif in early Germanic literature with the story existing to varying extents in the Norse sagas, but it is most notable in the Volsunga Saga and in Beowulf. Beowulf preserves existing medieval dragon-lore, most notably in the extended digression recounting the Sigurd/Fafnir tale. Nonetheless, comparative contemporary narratives did not have the complexity and distinctive elements written into Beowulf's dragon scene. Beowulf is a hero who previously killed two monsters. The scene includes extended flashbacks to the Geatish-Swedish wars, a detailed description of the dragon and the dragon-hoard, and ends with intricate funerary imagery.[
Beowulf scholar J.R.R. Tolkien considered the dragon in Beowulf to be one of only two real dragons in northern European literature, writing of it, "dragons, real dragons, essential both to the machinery and the ideas of a poem or tale, are actually rare. In northern literature there are only two that are significant ... we have but the dragon of the Völsungs, Fáfnir, and Beowulf's bane. " Furthermore, Tolkien believes the Beowulf poet emphasizes the monsters Beowulf fights in the poem and claims the dragon is as much of a plot deviceas anything. Tolkien expands on Beowulf's dragon in his own fiction, which indicates the lasting impact of the Beowulf poem. Within the plot structure, however, the dragon functions differently in Beowulf than in Tolkien's fiction. The dragon fight ends Beowulf, while Tolkien uses the dragon motif (and the dragon's love for treasure) to trigger a chain of events in The Hobbit.
The Beowulf dragon is the earliest example in literature of the typical European dragon and first incidence of a fire-breathing dragon. The Beowulf dragon is described with Old English terms such as draca (dragon), and wyrm (worm, or serpent), and as a creature with a venomous bite. Also, the Beowulf poet created a dragon with specific traits: anocturnal, treasure-hoarding, inquisitive, vengeful, fire-breathing creature.
The fire is likely symbolic of the hellfire of the Devil, reminiscent of the monster in the Book of Job. In the Septuagint Bible, Job's monster is characterized as a draco, and identified with the Devil. Job's dragon would have been accessible to the author of Beowulf, as a Christian symbol of evil, the "great monstrous adversary of God, man and beast alike."
A study of German and Norse texts reveals three typical narratives for the dragonslayer: a fight for the treasure, a battle to save the slayer's people, or a fight to free a woman. The characteristics of Beowulf's dragon appear to be specific to the poem, and the poet may have melded together dragon motifs to create a dragon with specific traits that weave together the complicated plot of the narrative.
The third act of the poem differs from the first two. In Beowulf's two earlier battles, Grendel and Grendel's mother are characterised as descendants of Cain: "[Grendel] had long lived in the land of monsters / since the creator cast them out / as the kindred of Cain" and seem to be humanoid: in the poet's rendition they can be seen as giants, trolls, or monsters. The dragon, therefore, is a stark contrast to the other two antagonists. Moreover, the dragon is more overtly destructive. He burns vast amounts of territory and the homes of the Geats: "the dragon began to belch out flames / and burn bright homesteads".
Beowulf's fight with the dragon has been described variously as an act of either altruism or recklessness. In contrast with the previous battles, the fight with the dragon occurs in Beowulf's kingdom and ends in defeat, whereas Beowulf fought the other monsters victoriously in a land distant from his home. The dragon fight is foreshadowed with earlier events: Scyld Shefing's funeral and Sigmund's death by dragon, as recounted by a bard in Hrothgar's hall.Beowulf scholar Alexander writes that the dragon fight likely signifies Beowulf's (and by extension, society's) battle against evil. The people's fate depend on the outcome of the fight between the hero and the dragon, and, as a hero, Beowulf must knowingly face death.
Beowulf's eventual death from the dragon presages "warfare, death, and darkness" for his Geats. The dragon's hoard symbolizes the vestige of an older society, now lost to wars and famine, left behind by a survivor of that period. His imagined elegy foreshadows Beowulf's death and elegy to come. Before he faces the dragon, Beowulf thinks of his past: his childhood and wars the Geats endured during that period, foreshadowing the future. At his death, peace in his lands will end, and his people will again suffer a period of war and hardship. An embattled society without "social cohesion" is represented by the avarice of the "dragon jealously guarding its gold hoard", and the elegy for Beowulf becomes an elegy for the entire culture. The dragon's hoard is representative of a people lost and antique, which is juxtaposed against the Geatish people, whose history is new and fleeting. As king of his people, Beowulf defends them against the dragon, and when his thanes desert him, the poem shows the disintegration of a "heroic society" which "depends upon the honouring of mutual obligations between lord and thane".
Wiglaf remains loyal to his king and stays to confront the dragon. The parallel in the story lies with the similarity to Beowulf's hero Sigemund and his companion: Wiglaf is a younger companion to Beowulf and, in his courage, shows himself to be Beowulf's successor. The presence of a companion is seen as a motif in other dragon stories, but the Beowulf poet breaks hagiographic tradition with the hero's suffering (hacking, burning, stabbing) and subsequent death. Moreover, the dragon is vanquished through Wiglaf's actions: although Beowulf dies fighting the dragon, the dragon dies at the hand of the companion.
The dragon battle is structured in thirds: the preparation for the battle, the events prior to the battle, and the battle itself. Wiglaf kills the dragon halfway through the scene, Beowulf's death occurs "after two-thirds" of the scene, and the dragon attacks Beowulf three times. Ultimately, as Tolkien writes, the death by dragon "is the right end for Beowulf," for he claims, "a man can but die upon his death-day".
J.R.R. Tolkien used the dragon story of Beowulf as a template for Smaug of The Hobbit: In each case, the dragon awakens upon the hoard being disturbed by one stealing a chalice and goes into a wrathful rampage until slain by another person.