Lifecycle of the Mara River

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A study published recently shows that during dry seasons hippo faeces in pools, deplete the oxygen in the water as microbes work to break it down, filling the water with toxic levels of ammonium, hydrogen sulphide, methane and carbon. When it rains this toxic water flushes the pools causing massive fish deaths downstream.

These fish kills feed scavengers and so have likely shaped the Mara River ecosystem.

Along with the hippos, many wildebeest drown as they attempt crossings and they also contribute to the food web in ways which scientists are still attempting to fathom.


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