Anne Rasa

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Olwen Anne Elisabeth Rasa (born 1940 in Wales) is a British Ethologist, who rendered outstanding services to the knowledge of the social behavior of Dwarf mongoose.

In the Northern Cape, South Africa


Study and Education[edit]

In 1961 Anne Rasa graduated with Bachelor of Science (Hons.) from the Royal College of Science, Imperial College, London University. Subsequently, she received a NATO-scholarship to investigate the aggression of fish. In 1965 she graduated with Master of Science (M.Sc.) from the University of Hawaii.

Scientific Work[edit]

In 1970 Anne Rasa received her Ph.D. from London University with a Max-Planck-Scholarship on coral reef fish aggression under Konrad Lorenz.

From 1970-1974 she continued her work at the Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltenspsychologie in Seewiesen under Konrad Lorenz. During this period she started her Dwarf mongoose studies, concentrating on social structure, marking behavior and intra-group aggression.

From 1975-1981 Anne Rasa was scientific assistant at Marburg University, Germany. She focused on ontogeny of behavior in Dwarf mongoose and was awarded the Dr. habil. (Habilitation: qualified as a professor) in 1981.

From 1981-1986 she was working with University of Bayreuth, Germany, with a Heisenberg-Scholarship to accomplished her field studies on Dwarf mongoose in the Taru Desert, Kenya. Anne Rasa published the results of her studies in the book Mongoose Watch: A Family Observed with a foreword by Konrad Lorenz. He compares the significance of her works with those of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey.[1] In 1984 the book with its results was presented by Bernhard Grzimek in the popular German TV-series Expedition ins Tierreich and was translated into several languages.[2]

From 1986-1991 Anne Rasa was Associate Professor at Pretoria University, South Africa, teaching ethology (lectures and practicals) and starting her studies on Yellow mongoose in the Kalahari Desert.

In 1991 she became Associate Professor at University of Bonn, Germany, where she was teaching ethology (lectures and practicals), too, and continuing her studies on Yellow mongoose and studies on the sub-social tenebrionid beetle Parastizopus armaticeps. Anne Rasa retired from Bonn University at the end of 2000.

Retirement to present[edit]

Anne Rasa owns the Nature Reserve Kalahari Trails at the southern end of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, which she bought a few years prior to her retirement. She lives there since December 2000 and offers accommodation and guided walks to everyone who is interested in the flora and fauna of the Kalahari.

In 2007 OSHANA published the book KALAHARI – Magnificent Desert with pictures and text by Anne Rasa.

In 2011/2012 Anne Rasa was working as a scientific advisor on a film series called Kalahari Trails which is being shot in the Kalahari.

Private Life[edit]

Anne Rasa has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.


  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Territoriality and the Establishment of Dominance by means of Visual Cues in Pomacentrus jenkinsi (Pisces: Pomacentridae) in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Volume 26, Issue 7, p. 825-845, Blackwell, 1969.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: The Effect of Pair Isolation on Reproductive Success in Etroplus maculatus (Cichlidae) in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Volume 26, Issue 7, p. 846-852, Blackwell, 1969.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Social Interaction and Object Manipulation in Weaned Pups of the Northern Elephant Seal Mirounga angustirostris in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Volume 29, Issue 1, p. 82-102, Blackwell, 1971.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa, H. Caspers: Appetence for Aggression in juvenile Damsel Fish. Beiheft 7 zur Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Paul Parey, 1971.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Marking Behaviour and its Social Significance in the African Dwarf Mongoose, Helogale undulata rufula in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Volume 32, Issue 3, Blackwell, 1973.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Prey Capture, Feeding Techniques, and their Ontogeny in the African Dwarf Mongoose, Helogale undulata rufula in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Volume 32, Issue 5, p. 449–488, Blackwell, 1973.
  • Anne Rasa: Intra-familial sexual repression in the dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula) in Naturwissenschaften, Volume 60, Number 6, p. 303-304, Springer, 1973.
  • Bernhard Grzimek, Anne Rasa, Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, et al.: Grzimek's animal life encyclopedia, Vol.1, Lower animals, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1974.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Mongoose sociology and behaviour as related to zoo exhibition in International Zoo Yearbook, Volume 15, Issue 1, p. 65–73, 1975.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Aggression: Appetite or aversion?—An ethologist's viewpoint in Aggressive Behavior, Volume 2, Issue 3, p. 213–222, Wiley-Liss, 1976.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Invalid Care in the Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale undulata rufula) in Ethology, Volume 42, Issue 4, p. 337-342, Blackwell, 1976.
  • Anne Rasa: The ethology and sociology of the dwarf mongoose (Helogale undulata rufula) in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Vol. 43, Nr. 4, Paul Parey, 1977.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: The Effects of Crowding on the Social Relationships and Behaviour of the Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale undulata rufula) in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Volume 49, Issue 3, p. 317–329, Blackwell, 1979.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Towards a structural concept of agonism in Aggressive Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 3, p. 253–260, Wiley-Liss, 1982.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: A Case of Invalid Care in Wild Dwarf Mongooses in Ethology, Volume 62, Issue 3, p. 235-240, Blackwell, 1983.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: A motivational analysis of object play in juvenile dwarf mongooses (Helogale undulata rufula) in Animal Behaviour, Volume 32, Issue 2, p. 579-589, 1984.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa, H. van den Höövel: Social Stress in the Fieldvole: Differential Causes of Death in Relation to Behaviour and Social Structure in Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, Volume 65, Issue 2, p. 108–133, Blackwell, 1984.
  • Anne E. Rasa: Die perfekte Familie, DVA, 1984, ISBN 3-421-02736-6.
  • Anne Rasa: Mongoose Watch: A Family Observed, John Murray, 1985, ISBN 0-7195-4240-5.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Coordinated Vigilance in Dwarf Mongoose Family Groups: The ‘Watchman's Song’ Hypothesis and the Costs of Guarding in Ethology, Volume 71, Issue 4, p. 340–344, Blackwell, 1986.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Patterns of intra-African small raptor spring migrations in the Taru Desert, Kenya in African Journal of Ecology, Volume 25, Issue 3, 165–171, 1987.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa, M. Hopp: Age and sex-related differences in threat perception in a modern urban society in Aggressive Behavior, Volume 15, Issue 5, p. 389–398, Wiley-Liss, 1989.
  • Somers, M.J., Rasa, O.A.E. & Apps, P.J. Marking behaviour and dominance in Suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus). Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde. 55(5): 340-352. 1990.
  • Anne Rasa, Christian Vogel, Eckart Voland: The Sociobiology of sexual and reproductive strategies, Chapman and Hall, 1989.
  • O.A.E. Rasa, B.A. Wenhold, P. Howard; A. Marais: Reproduction in the yellow mongoose revisited in South African Journal of Zoology, Vol. 27, No. 4, p. 192, 1992.
  • B.A. Wenhold, O.A.E. Rasa: Territorial marking in the Yellow mongoose Cynictis penicillata: sexual advertisement for subordinates? in Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, Vol.59, No.3, p. 129, 1994.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Parabiosis and its Proximate Mechanisms in Four Kalahari Desert Tenebrionid Beetles in Ethology, Volume 98, Issue 2, p. 137–148, Blackwell, 1994.
  • Somers, M.J., Rasa, O.A.E. & Penzhorn, B.L. Group structure and social behaviour of warthogs Phacochoerus aethiopicus. Acta Theriologica. 40(3): 257-281. 1995.
  • Somers, M.J., Penzhorn, B.L. & Rasa, O.A.E. Home range size, range use and dispersal of warthogs in the eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal of African Zoology. 108(4): 361-373. 1994.
  • Somers, M.J. & Rasa, O.A.E. A causal analysis of the relationships between behaviour patterns of free living warthogs. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde. 62(2): 93-98. 1997.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Aggregation in a Desert Tenebrionid Beetle: A Cost/Benefit Analysis in Ethology, Volume 103, Issue 6, p. 466-487, Blackwell, 1997.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Biparental investment and reproductive success in a subsocial desert beetle: the role of maternal effort in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Volume 43, Number 2, p. 105-113, Springer, 1998.
  • O. Anne E. Rasa: Division of Labour and Extended Parenting in a Desert Tenebrionid Beetle in Ethology, Volume 105, Issue 1, p. 37-56, Blackwell, 1999.
  • Michael Streif, O. Anne E. Rasa: Divorce and its consequences in the Common Blackbird Turdus merula in Ibis, Volume 143, Issue 3, p. 554–560, 2001.
  • Dik Heg, O. Anne E. Rasa: Effects of parental body condition and size on reproductive success in a tenebrionid beetle with biparental care in Ecological Entomology, Volume 29, Issue 4, p. 410–419, 2004.
  • KALAHARI – Magnificent Desert. OSHANA Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-0-620-35898-9.


  1. ^ Anne E. Rasa: Die perfekte Familie. DVA 1985, p. 8-9. Engl.: Anne Rasa: Mongoose Watch - A Family Observed, 1985
  2. ^ Kalahari Trails Homepage

External links[edit]