The lightfoot sauceback has split from the feathered sauceback. It has grown smaller to navigate the rocky habitat and its feathers have grown thicker for more insulation. Like the feathered, there are subspecies of the lightfoot that differ slightly in colour between the two biomes. The social bonds are now more important than ever as these small hunters rely on other members of the family group to hunt their larger prey down, such as the ramaphant and the small capoo. During hunting, their large ears help them ‘see’ where their prey is and where the other members of the team are. Each ear can move independently, enabling the hunters to pint-point an animal’s location. In the family group, males are forced out when they mature but females remain in the same group all their lives. This prevents inbreeding. Both subspecies builds a nest by pulling out some of their own feathers which keeps the eggs insulated. The lightfoot subspecies breed at different times of the year as they both breed when the roaming capoo herd reaches them. During the roaming capoo migration, the pack will kill as many capoo as they can and bury what they can’t eat. In the other half of the year, this stored food can be the difference between life and death in the harsh environment.
Artwork by OviraptorFan