African Wildebeest Facts

Wildebeest is the most common species found in Southern Africa. Approx 1.7 meters tall, 380 kilograms. There is no other antelope like the wildebeest. It looks like it was assembled from spare parts – the forequarters could have come from and ox, the hindquarters from an antelope and the mane and tail from a horse. The antics of the territorial bulls during breeding season have earned them the name “clowns of the savanna.”

African Wildebeest

African Wildebeest

African Wildebeest
African Wildebeest

Description and Characteristics:
Wildebeest, or gnus are noisy. They constantly emit low moans and if disturbed, snort explosively.Blue-wildebeest are continually on the move as they seek favorable supplies of grass and water. Active both day and night, they often string out in long single columns when on the move.They also cover long distances at a slow rocking gallop but can run fast when necessary.

Habitat:
Zebras and wildebeests sometimes graze together for security. Wildebeest prefer short grass whereas Zebras longer grass. They are unable to go without water for more than a few days. When alarmed, the animal swishes its long tail back and forth so vigorously that the loud whistling or hissing sound it creates can be heard for almost a kilometre. The jaw structure, and their wide rows of teeth, prevents them from eating many of the longer types of grasses, hence the association with Zebra who can eat longer grassIts habitat consists of grassy plains and open woodlands in southern, central, and eastern Africa. They are especially prolific in the Serengeti National Park.

Size & Lifespan
Wildebeest grow to 1.15–1.4 metres at the shoulder and weigh between 150–250 kilograms. Wildebeest can live more than 20 years.

African Wildebeest

African Wildebeest

Reproduction:
The gestation period in a female is eight and a half months, producing one offspring. The calf is able to stand within minutes of the birth. In a few days it is able to keep up with the herd.

African Wildebeest

African Wildebeest

Predators and Threats:
The number of wildebeest has increased steadily over recent years but human habitation leads to less grasslands which threaten their long term numbers. The Wildebeests main predators lions and hyenas.

Facts of African Wildebeest
The wildebeest is one of the few African antelopes to have extended its range in the last 50 years. They numbered about 250,000 in 1960 and are thought to number 1.5 million today.

The King of African Birds – African Eagles

African Fish Eagle

The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) can be seen flying throughout the Southern Africa skies and is known by many different names. African Fish-Eagle is a large bird of prey. Dark body and wings contrast with white head and tail. Belly and upper coverts are chestnut. Wings and back are black. When in flight, the underwings appear chestnut, and it has black flight feathers. It has short and squared white tail. The head is white too. Eyes are chestnut to pale brown. Bill is black and yellow. Legs and feet are yellow.

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

The African Fish Eagle has a very distinctive call which is one of the distinctive sounds of Kenya (once heard it is never forgotten). It is particularly common in and around some of the Rift Valley lakes. Although, as its name suggests, it feeds extensively on fish, in some areas (eg Lake Bogoria) it preys on flamingos and other water birds. It is also known to eat carrion and is classified as a kleptoparasite ie it steals prey from other birds. Goliath Herons are known to lose a percentage of their catch to Fish Eagles.

African Fish-Eagle lives near large streams, lakes and marshes. It can be found near coastal lagoons and dams, and in estuaries. African Fish-Eagle is sedentary. It is a fish-eagle. They live in pairs close to the streams. Very active and agile, it is quite able to perform bold aerial displays, and it will dive entirely into the water to hunt a prey. It hunts starting from a perch, generally a large tree close to the water, from where it can watch over the place. It performs an approach in soft descent, and kicks out its talons ahead, almost stopping its flight to catch its prey, usually at about fifteen centimetres under the surface. It can capture fish of up to one kg, and sometimes of up to 3 kg. But beyond 2,5 kg, it cannot take it in flight. Then, it glides above the water to the shore, pulling its prey.

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

African fish eagle

African Fish-Eagle’s nest is huge and made with sticks. It may reach 120 to 180 cm in diameter, and 30 to 60 cm in depth, sometimes 120 cm when the nest is reused several times. It is lined with grasses, green leaves and roots. It is located between 4 and 22 metres above the ground, in a fork in tree, near water. It is rarely found on cliffs or in bushes in steep slopes.
The female lays two white eggs. Incubation lasts about 42 to 45 days, shared by both parents. Chicks remain at nest for about 65 days. They can fly at about 70 to 75 days of age, but they are still raised by female (male feeds only the chicks). They depend from their parents for two months more after their first flight.

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle is the largest eagle in Africa! The Martial eagle weighs in at almost 14 pounds (6.5 Kg.) and has a wingspan of about 6 feet 4 inches. It is 32 inches long. This eagle can be found throughout the African savanna, in any type of terrain, from mountain to flat plains, and from the edge of deserts to wooded country.Due to their very slow reproduction rate and the fact that a great number of them are shot by farmers, one cannot expect to find more than one pair of these eagles in an area of about 150 square kilometers.

Martial eagles are commonly seen perched on tall dead trees. They spend much of their time flying at such a height that it is impossible to see them, even with good binoculars. They hunt from the air, diving at great speed onto their prey.

An impressive and fearsome-looking bird, it can bring down an impala, though it usually takes much smaller prey, especially sandgrouse, francolins and other ground-dwelling birds. It also takes mongoose, squirrels, hares, small antelope, Guineafowl, lizards and young ostrich.

One egg only is laid, in a large nest made of sticks, high above the ground, in large trees. The female is in charge of incubation, which takes about 47 days. Young Martial eagles are much different from adults, only acquiring their adult plumage at about 7 years of age. Martial eagles breed, on average, twice every 3 years and the same nest is used for many years.

Bateleur Eagle

Bateleur eagle

Bateleur eagle

Bateleur eagle

Bateleur eagle

Bateleur eagle

Bateleur eagle

Bateleur eagle

Bateleur eagle

The Bateleur eagle is the most famous of the snake eagles. Its pitch black feathers with white under the wings, bright red face and legs and black beak are characteristic markings. The female Bateleur eagles are larger than males.

Bateleur eagles pair for life and stay in the same nest for several years. Unpaired adults can sometimes be seen near a nest site. The unpaired bird is not rejected by the mating pair but it does not help with nesting. The Bateleur is generally silent but capable of making loud screams when excited.

Bateleurs feed on carrion and live animals that are as large as small antelopes. It also takes birds and reptiles including the large monitor lizards.These eagles build their nests in high trees, the clutch consisting of just one egg.

Pale Chanting Goshawk

Pale Chanting Goshawk

Pale Chanting Goshawk

The Pale-chanting Goshawk (Melierax canorus) is a fairly common species of the acacia and thorn scrub areas of southern Africa. The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk is a medium-sized bird of prey. It looks much bigger than it really is because of the long legs and very upright stance. It occurs in the semi-arid to arid areas in the western half of South Africa, and throughout Botswana and Namibia (the Dark Chanting Goshawk, on the other hand, occurs in the north-eastern parts of South Africa, Botswana and Caprivi). The colour is mainly pale grey, with black at the wing tips and tail, and with the lower chest and belly being barred grey on white. The bill is black and the legs and cere are red.

It likes to sit on telephone or fencing poles wherever these are available, also in tall trees. The sub-adult is brown all over, even the legs, so if it perches in a tall tree the long legs are not visible, which confuses even experienced bird watchers. The Chanting Goshawk gets its name from a chanting peep-peep call during the breeding season, heard in the early mornings and evening. On a quiet day the call can be heard up to half a kilometre away.

The bird hunts for its prey mainly from its perch, then swoops down to catch a snake, lizard, rodent or big insects like locusts. It also likes walking in the veld, resembling a miniature Secretary Bird. They nest in tall trees, which of course are quite scarce in the arid regions, so almost every tall tree in Bushmanland is seen to have Chanting Goshawk nests in it. They use the same nest year after year.

Facts about African Hippos

The hippo is ranked among Africa’s mega fauna, and is only surpassed in bulk by the elephant and white rhino. These semi-aquatic mammals are unmistakably recognisable by their gargantuan forms and singular features. Hippos are herbivores that wallow in water by day and graze on land at night. They inhabit many of Africa’s freshwater lakes and rivers, swamps and forest streams, south of the Sahara, and are undoubtedly Africa’s reigning inland water-world heavyweights.

African Hippopotamus

African Hippopotamus

The hippo’s proper name is hippopotamus; derived from a combination of the two Greek words meaning ‘river horse’. The Greeks in all their learning could at best relate the hippo to a horse! More recently it was thought the hippo shares a connection with the pig – which it resembles. But today scientists have established that it is more closely related to cetaceans, whose family includes whales, porpoises and dolphins.

African Hippopotamus

African Hippopotamus

Over a million years ago, hippos are believed to have lived across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. They have a link to prehistoric times through Kenyapotamus, a fossil found in Kenya, dating 8-16 million years back. The relic belongs to an extinct precursor of the present day hippo. Rock art dated about 3000 BC art depicting hippo hunting has been found in the Tassili n’Ajjer mountain ranges of Algeria.

Hippos have a barrel shaped body, short legs and a massive head with a broad muzzle. The hide is almost hairless – the mouth has an impressive set of canines and incisors and their 4-toed feet leaves a distinctive track.

The shape of their head is much like that of a frog, and allows them to keep their eyes and nostrils above the surface, while keeping the rest of their body submerged.

The hippo does not have sweat or sebaceous glands. A unique gland that produce a viscous red fluid, has led to the myth that hippos “sweat blood.” The hippo relies on water or mud to keep it cool, and it is thought that the red fluid may have a similar function.

Reproduction:

African Hippopotamus

African Hippopotamus

Mating takes place in the water. After a gestation of about 8 months the female gives birth in shallow water. The female seems to somehow know the sex of her calf before giving birth as a pregnant cow that has a male calf in her will often leave her family group to give birth in a separate river or dam.
The dominant male reacts very aggressively to new males trying to join his family group even if they are newborn or his own, so for this reason the pregnant female leaves the group to give birth and stay on her own with the newborn male calf until he is strong enough to move quickly and hopefully avoid dangerous confrontations with the dominant bull when they rejoin the rest of the family.
When pregnant with a female calf, the mother will normally give birth in the same river or dam where the rest of the family are.

The cow’s milk has a very thick texture, almost like yogurt. The thick milk makes it possible for the calf to drink from its mother while under water without the milk dissolving too much.

Statistically hippos’ kill more people than any other mammal in Africa. The people that get killed are normally living in rural areas where there is no tap water. These people need to fetch water and bath in rivers and dams and often get caught between the hippos’ and the water when the hippos’ are making their way back to the water in the early morning. Hippo often react very aggressively by attacking when their pathways are blocked, resulting in many deaths every year.

 

Rare African Animals – Mountain Gorilla In Africa

Gorillas are one of the most feared animals in the world, thanks to movies like King Kong and Congo . While it is true that they are large, powerful creatures, they are also gentle and affectionate.

Mountain gorillas are easygoing vegetarians who lead a peaceful, playful life. Large males patiently allow young gorillas to climb all over them without a murmur of protest, and they are not aggressive toward humans unless they are threatened.

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered animals in the world. There are only 720 mountain gorillas left in the world and Rwanda is the premier destination to track them. The Virunga volcanoes are a 3 hour drive from Kigali, the capital. And the habituated gorilla groups are a little easier to reach from the Rwandan side, than those living in the same mountain range in Uganda and the DRC (just across the border).

Unlike their lowland counterparts, the mountain gorillas have long hair, which helps them handle the temperature extremes found at altitude. Mountain gorillas live in large family units led by a single dominant adult male, known as the “Silverback” — a name derived from the grey hair that develops on male’s back as it reaches adulthood. The Silverback is responsible for protecting the family from predators or other threats, including solitary Silverbacks intent on claiming females as their own. The dominant Silverback also takes on the role of mediator when disputes arise in the family. Some families contain more than one Silverback, but only one is dominant and that male alone is responsible for mating with the adult females of the group.

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas

Female mountain gorillas have few babies. During the 40 to 50 years that a female lives she gives birth to two to six babies. The first baby is born at about eight or ten. She then has further babies every three to four years. In most cases single gorillas are born, in rare occasions she gives birth to twins. Babies ride on their mother’s back until they are two or three years old.

While mountain gorillas wander around during the daytime they look for safe places to sleep at night. Lighter ones sleep in trees while heavier mountain gorillas nest on the ground.

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are primarily plant eaters. They need about 30 kilograms of vegetation every day tosurvive. They also eat insects and worms but rarely drink water because they have enough moisture in the plants.

Life for mountain gorillas, however, is not peaceful. They are endangered in many ways. More and more people are moving to live in the rain forests. There they burn down trees to get more farmland, build roads and settlements. The habitat of mountain gorillas is getting smaller and smaller.

Top 10 Cool African Animals to See on Safari in Africa

What’s the top 10 African animals you should see when on safari in Africa?

Africa is a unique land of varied traditions, culture, people, languages and geography. It is the second largest continent of the world. It is also the second most populous continent after Asia. The Mediterranean sea surrounds Africa to the north, the Red Sea and Suez canal to the northeast, the southwest surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the west bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The equator passes through Africa making it the only continent that stretches from the northern temperate to the southern temperate zones. This has created an arid or desert region in the northern half and the central and southern half covered with the plains of savanna and a dense rainforest jungle region.

Please check the video below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTLXp-XHZhE

African Elephant

African_Bush_Elephant

African_Bush_Elephant

African elephants once numbered in the millions across Africa, but by the mid-1980s their populations had been devastated by poaching. The status of the species now varies greatly across the continent. Some populations remain in danger due to poaching for meat and ivory, habitat loss and conflict with humans.

Elephants are important because their future is tied to much of Africa’s rich biodiversity. Scientists consider African elephants to be keystone species as they help to maintain suitable habitats for many other species in savanna and forest ecosystems.

Giraffe

 African Giraffes

African Giraffes

Giraffes are long-necked browsing animals that taxonomists place in a separate family, Giraffidae, from other artiodactylids: camels, deer and bovines. Possessing only seven cervical vertebrae (like other mammals), giraffes, at almost 19 feet, are the tallest of all mammals. Adult males weigh as much as 4,000 lbs. They are characterized by having two knobs, called ossicones, on their head. Some individuals may have additional bumps on the sides of their skulls that are irregularly located. Unlike antlers on deer or horns on bovids, ossicones are permanently covered by hair and never shed. After a gestation of 15 months, females give birth to a single young; twins occur rarely. Adults are not territorial but rather feed over a large “roaming” area. When alarmed, giraffes can reach speeds of 30 to 36 miles per hour. Unlike most mammals giraffes walk using both legs from the same side of the body simultaneously. When they gallop they move both fore legs and both hind legs together, and because of its long stride is faster than it appears.

Lion

African Lions

African Lions

Lions are unique in that they are the only cats to live in groups (prides). They are the largest member of the cat family and the largest of all the African carnivores. They are are the top predator in any African ecosystem where they live.

Leopard

African Leopard

African Leopard

The most secretive and elusive of the large carnivores, the leopard is also the shrewdest. Pound for pound, it is the strongest climber of the large cats and capable of killing prey larger than itself.

The African leopard (Panthera pardus) is more numerous than the African rhino in the Big 5 pantheon, but they are just as difficult to spot on safari in Africa. Leopards use trees as observation platforms and for protection, so you have to remember to look up to see this solitary, beautiful cat. Leopards are shy and nocturnal, quite modest for a cat that can climb, swim and live in a wider range of habitats than most other wild cats.

A leopard’s spots offer excellent camouflage as they move about their range, seldom staying in the same area for more than a few days. Males tend to have larger ranges than females and mark it by urinating and leaving claw marks. Leopards tend to store their fresh kill up in a tree to avoid it getting poached by lions and hyenas. Leopards are smaller than lions but an adult male can still weigh in at 200 lbs. They can run at speeds of over 35 mph, and are extremely agile jumpers.

 

Cheetah

African Cheetah

African Cheetah

The lion is said to be majestic, the leopard ferocious and shrewd. But elegant and graceful best describes the cheetah. The cheetah is smaller than the other two cats, but by far the fastest at speeds of 70 miles per hour it can run faster than all other animals. Now restricted to sub-Saharan Africa, wild cheetahs once were found in most of Africa, the plains of southern Asia, the Middle East and India.

Cheetahs are not strong predators, but they are fast. They rely on their speed, which can reach 70 mph, to catch their prey. Everything about the cheetah is built for speed, from their non-retractable claws that act like cleats for traction, to their long tail that works like a rudder to help them change directions quickly.

Cheetahs are also known for their spotted coat. The dots are both small and large, and the pattern of spots is unique to each cheetah. The fur of cheetah cubs is darker than that of adults.  As fast as cheetahs are, they can’t outrun the threats that they face. Like a lot of animals, cheetahs are losing their habitat, as are the prey animals they need to survive. Cheetahs are also often viewed as pests by ranchers. Ranchers may shoot cheetahs to keep them away from their livestock.

African Antelope

African Antelope

African Antelope

The antelope family is one of the largest in the animal kingdom. Though antelopes do not exude the sexy aura of the big five- lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino; they are very successful and are fully paid up members of the African wilderness. Some species are very prolific such as the impala, of which an estimated 100,000 can be found in South Africa’s Kruger Park alone.

Rhino

South Africa Rhinoceros

South Africa Rhinoceros

There are two species of rhino in Africa, the Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) and the White rhino (Ceratotherium simum). Black rhinos have suffered the most drastic reduction in population in the last 20 years. There are now only about 4000 left in the wild although valiant conservation efforts are increasing those numbers. The white rhino is more numerous numbering at over 17,000 but they are heavily concentrated in Southern Africa. Rhinos are actually neither black nor white in color, they are all grey.

Zebra

African Zebra

African Zebra

The great annual migration of millions of zebra, wildebeest (gnu) and other antelope in East Africa tops almost every list of safari experiences. When you plan your trip, you’ll need information about the annual migration, the best times to witness this wildlife spectacle, where to stay, and when to see it in Kenya andTanzania.

 

Nile Crocodile

Large female crocodile

Large female crocodile

The Nile crocodile is found throughout Africa. Large, lizard shaped reptile with four short legs and long muscular tail. The hide is rough and scaled.  Considerable variation exists throughout the range of the Nile Crocodile. Generally, it is a large crocodilian, averaging 5 m in length but reportedly reaching 6 m in rare instances. There are dubious reports of 7 m animals having existed, but these are hard to verify.

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas

With only around 800 mountain gorillas left in the world, seeing them in the wild is something only a few people will ever have the chance to experience. There are only about 790 mountain gorillas left in the world, in two small national parks in Africa. These highly endangered animals suffer from poaching, human-induced injuries, and loss of habitat. They face survival threats each day, with health issues at the top of the list.

About 450 mountain gorillas inhabit an extinct volcanic region called the Virunga Range along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in East Africa. The other 350 or so mountain gorillas inhabit a nearby area of Bwindi in Uganda, a thick rainforest.

What Are The Big 5 Animals In Africa?

When you start researching an African safari, the term “Big Five” often crops up. The “Big 5″ refers to the African: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. Why not the hippo,gorilla or giraffe you may ask? Are they not large as well? How about the cheetah — that would be an animal you would probably like to see as much as a buffalo. Well, the term “big five” was actually coined by big game hunters (not safari tour operators). It refers to the difficulty in bagging these large animals, mostly due to their ferocity when cornered and shot at.

African Elephant

African Elephant

For many years trophy hunters sought these animals all over the African bush and their numbers have dwindled over the years. To date most of the Big Five have been the target of numerous conservation efforts to keep them from going extinct. At this stage the lion, the elephant and the leopard are considered ‘vulnerable’ animals. The white rhinoceros is listed as ‘threatened’. The black rhinoceros is the only one of the five that is considered to be ‘endangered’. The Cape buffalo is the only one that is in no particular danger, though conservation efforts are in place to ensure they never are in danger.

The Big 5 Animals In Africa

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTLXp-XHZhE

African Lion: 

The lion is a magnificent animal that appears as a symbol of power, courage and nobility on family crests, coats of arms and national flags in many civilizations. Lions at one time were found from Greece through the Middle East to northern India, but today only a very small population remains in India. In the past lions lived in most parts of Africa, but are now confined to the sub-Saharan region.

African Lion

African Lion

African Lion

African Lion

African Lion

African Lion

African Leopard: 

This large cat has rosette spots on body with solid black spots on legs, head, sides and hindquarters. The leopard’s tail is about half of its total length with a white tip. It has round white tipped ears and the underparts are usually white to off white.

African Leopard

African Leopard

African Leopard

African Leopard

African Rhino:

The rhinoceros is a large, primitive looking mammal that in fact dates from the Miocene era millions of years ago. In recent decades rhinos have been relentlessly hunted to the point of near extinction. Since 1970 the world rhino population has declined by 90 percent, with five species remaining in the world today, all of which are endangered.

African Rhino

African Rhino

African Rhino

African Rhino

 African Elephant: 

The African elephant can be characterized by two exceptionally large ears, a concave back just behind the shoulders, and the presence of tusks in both males and females.  Currently, the African elephant can be found in 37 different countries in Africa and is found on the Threatened Species list due to its declining population numbers as a result of the growing human-elephant conflict.

African elephants are very important to the eco-system in which they live.  In fact the role they play is so important that they are known as a “keystone” species on which numerous other species rely.  Some plants need to be digested by an elephant before the seeds will germinate, including up to a third of tree species in their habitat.

African Elephant

African Elephant

African Elephant

African Elephant

African Elephant

African Elephant

African Cape Buffalo: 

African Cape Buffalo is a large animal that measures up to 3 m long and 1.7 m high and it’s weight can reach more than 900 kg. Females are smaller than males. The Cape Buffalo lives in the sub-Saharan Africa, dweling in savannas, forests and open and forested plains, but always near water.

They have a sparse covering of hair that is dark brown in colour. They have a large head, a thick neck, a broad chest and strong legs. Their ears are large and droopy and they have large, low curved horns. In males the horns are joined by a boss, which is a shield that covers their entire forehead.

African Cape Buffalo

African Cape Buffalo

African Cape Buffalo

African Cape Buffalo

Once found in many places in Africa, those looking for the Big Five will have the most luck in countries like Botswana, Kenya, South African and Tanzania where they can be found in great numbers. The combination of large reserves and conservation efforts are to thank for this. While they are certainly still around in other countries in Africa, their numbers are smaller and spotting one may not be guaranteed.

Ever since people first started exploring the African landscape, these incredible animals have fascinated them. Something about them still draws people to he dark continent in hopes of spotting one of these elusive, yet majestic creatures. The Big Five are the big stars of Africa.

African Antelope – Amazing African Animals

The antelope is a graceful Old World ruminant (a cud-chewing hoofed mammal) with long legs and horns directed upward and backward.

African Antelope

African Antelope

African Antelope

African Antelope

All antelope have horns, though in some species only the male is horned. Unlike deer, antelope do not shed their horns. Some species’ horns twist in spirals, others have ridges, and yet others grow in wide curves ending in a sharp point.

Antelope species can be found in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Nilgai and four-horned antelopes live in India. From Africa come the kudu, sitatunga, bushbuck, bongo, eland, reebok, reedbuck, waterbuck, duiker, gnu, impala, hartebeest, and a number of varieties of dwarf antelope. The sable antelope, roan antelope, oryx, addax are known as horse antelopes and live in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Gazelles live in Africa and Asia. From Central Asia come the saiga and the chiru, also known as the Tibetan antelope.

The Pronghorn Antelope in North America is not considered a true antelope and even comes from another family (Antilocapridae).

Antelopes range in size from the royal antelope, which stands about 10 inches (25 cm) high at the shoulder, to the eland, which is about 70 inches (1.78 m). The former weights about 7 to 8 lbs (3.2 to 3.6 kg) and the latter 1,300 to 1,500 lbs (590 to 680 kg). Antelope hooves are split down the middle, dividing the hoof into two “toes.” Different species have differently shaped hooves.

Fun Antelope Facts

- The largest population of pronghorns lives in Wyoming.

- The eland is the world’s largest and slowest antelope. However, it can jump an 8 foot fence from a standstill.

- Some antelope horns can grow to almost 5 ft (1.5 m) long.

- The saiga from Asia has a distinctive trunk-like muzzle, with downward-pointing nostrils.

- The only antelope known to become extinct is the South African blue buck, which disappeared around 1800.

- There are about 90 species of antelope.

African Zebra Facts – Amazing African Animals

Zebras are members of the horse family native to central and southern Africa. All have vividly contrasting black and white vertical stripes (hence the zebra crossing named after it) on the forequarters, often tending towards the horizontal at the rear of the animal. Most zoologists believe the stripes act as a camouflage mechanism; although some believe it plays a role in their social interactions, acting as a means to distinguish an individual from all of the others in slight variations of the stripes.

Zebra Facts

Zebra Facts

Zebra Facts

Zebra Facts

Diet

Zebras are herbivorous and primarily eat a variety of grasses. They are also known to eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark.

Population

Overall, plains zebras number at around 750,000. Historically, there were over 15,000 Grevy’s zebras. However, there are only about 2,500 remaining today. There are 600-700 cape mountain zebras and around 800-1300 Hartmann’s mountain zebras in the wild.

Range

Plains zebra are found on the savannas from Sudan to northern Zimbabwe in eastern Africa. Grevy’s zebras are now mostly restricted to parts of northern Kenya. Mountain zebras occur in southwestern Africa with cape mountain zebras in South Africa and Hartmann’s mountain zebras in Namibia and Angola.

Behavior

Zebras as very social animals and live in large groups called ‘harems.’ Plains and mountain zebras live in harems that are made up of one stallion and up to six mares and their young, while Grevy’s zebras come together as groups for short periods of time. Sometimes herds come together to form temporary groups of up to 30 members. Zebras sleep standing up, and only when they are in groups that can warn them of danger. If they spot a predator, they will bark or whinny loudly to warn the others in the group.

Reproduction

Mating Season: Year round and based on species.
Gestation: 12-13 months.
Litter size: 1 foal.
Zebra foals are born with brown and white stripes as opposed to black and white stripes. Mares generally keep all other zebras away for 2-3 days until her foal recognizes her by sight, voice and smell.

Zebra Facts

Zebra Facts

Threats

The zebra’s biggest threats are habitat loss due to ranching and farming and competition for water with livestock. They are also hunted for their skins.

In the range of the Grevy’s zebra, where survival of young is linked to the availability of forage, climate change is exacerbating droughts on already-degraded rangeland. Droughts also force the animals to congregate at remaining water sources, increasing the incidence of disease transmission.

African Giraffes Facts With Images And Video

Giraffes are well-known for tall profile, their long neck, and distinct patchwork pattern and are therefore among the most recognizable creatures in the animal kingdom. Their large eyes, long tongue, sizeable ears, and tufted tail further contribute to their unique appearance. Despite giraffes being easily recognizable, there are many lesser-known facts about giraffes that make them worth a closer look.

african Giraffe

african Giraffe

How tall is a giraffe?

The maximum head height of males are 5,5 meters and 4,5 meters for females. The shoulder height of males are 3,3 meters and 2,8 meters for females.

How does these tall animals breed?

A wandering bull tests the reproductive condition of females he encounters by sniffing her urine.

A female that becomes receptive will be consorted by a series of increasingly high ranking bulls.

african Giraffe

african Giraffe

african Giraffe

african Giraffe

How fast can giraffes run?

They can gallop at up to 34 miles per hour (56 km/h) but interestingly they can hardly jump at all. The highest fence it has been recorded clearing was only 1 m high.

Look out for the very distinctive walking gait of this African animal. Because its legs are so long a walking they move both right legs forward and then both the left legs.

When they gallop, this changes and they simultaneously swing the hind legs ahead of and outside the front legs.

How do giraffes fight?

In real fights old bulls swing their heads like medieval maces, landing thudding blows on the legs and body of the oponent with the head.

The winner will emphasize his dominance by briefly mounting the loser.

What do giraffes eat?

These long necked browsers are able to exploit a feeding niche that is only shared by elephants.

Their height enables them to reach food, which no antelope can get at. They feed mainly on the Acacia trees.

It is is a very selective feeder and only chooses the most nutritious leaves. They do this by pulling leaves and small twigs into its mouth with its lips and tongue.

They sometimes spit out thorns and tough twigs.

This animals has a very efficient digestive system, which means they can survive on less than half the browse you would expect of an animal of this size.

The presence of thorns on acacia trees slows down this process, which means they have to spend at least 11, and up to 20, hours a day feeding.

In areas where the soil is poor in calcium they obtain these minerals by chewing bones.

To reach water it has to splay its front legs and bend its knees before bending its neck to get its head down to ground level.

White & Black Rhinoceros In Africa

Square-lipped (White) and Hook-Lipped (Black) rhino are the two dominant species of rhinocerous found in Southern Africa

The rhino is prized for it’s horn. Not a true horn, it is made of thickly matted hair that grows from the skull without skeletal support. Used in traditional medicine and ornamental carvings there are five species remaining in the world today, all of which are endangered.

African Rhino

African Rhino

African Rhino

African Rhino

Black Rhinoceros
The black rhinos, or Diceros bicornis species, are named ‘black’, and have distinguishable features from the white rhinos. They have a narrow and prehensile lip form that helps them in feeding on shrubs and leaves. They are mostly seen in dry, arid areas with lots of trees, where they can also hide. They are further sub-grouped into South-central, South-western, East African and West African. The weight of the male and the female black rhino ranges from 800 to 1,350 kg and have a height of 4.5-5.5 ft. They do not have a very strong eyesight, but they have good olfactory perception and sense of hearing. They have two horns, with the outer one being larger and measuring 50 cm.

White Rhinoceros
Ceratotherium simum species is found in the woodland habitats of Africa, such as Kenya, Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. They are brownish gray in color. Its name ‘white’ comes as a misinterpretation of weit, an Afrikaans word meaning ‘wide’. The lip form of the animal, helps it in grazing effectively. They are further sub-categorized into Southern and Northern White rhinos, of which, the latter is an endangered sub-species. They are heavily built with weight ranging from 1,800-2,700 kg. Their height is 5-6 ft. They have two horns, with the outer horn measuring over 89 cm on an average, larger than the inner one. The offspring are protected by the mothers, up to three years.