List Of Animals That Live In Africa. Ten Interesting Animals And Facts.
Africa has one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. The continent is home to many animals which exist nowhere else on the planet. What’s more, we also see specific subspecies which have amazing differences from their cousins on other continents.
It’s clear that Africa has some amazing sights for anyone who loves animals. We’ll discover some amazing facts in this list of animals that live in Africa.
Elephants are the world’s largest land animal if measured by mass rather than height. These gentle giants can weigh up to six tons!
What’s more, Elephants are also among the world’s most intelligent animals. They’re smart, social and larger than most other mammals. In many ways we can see a lot of what makes humans so special in these majestic creatures.
It’s easy to recognize a rhinoceros thanks to their distinctive horn. But most people don’t know that its horn is actually made of the same material as our own fingernails. That’s right, human fingernails and the rhino’s horns are both formed from keratin. And while rhinos are smaller than an elephant they still boast some impressive numbers. The types of rhino found in Africa can weigh up to 3,700 lbs. or more. (Over 1,678 kilograms.)
Elephants might be the heaviest land mammal. But Africa also boasts the tallest, the giraffe. A giraffe can reach a height of about nineteen to twenty feet. (5.79 to 6.09 meters.) This places them at about the same height as a two story home.
Even a newborn giraffe will typically measure about six feet tall and weigh 150 lbs. (68 kg.) As for adults, the heavier giraffes might weigh up to 3,000 lbs. (1,360 kg.)
Hippos are about eleven feet long and can weigh up to 7,050 lbs. (3,197 kg.) This puts them in a solid second place with elephants for heaviest land animal.
Hippos are also a little sun shy. They prefer to spend their days in the cool water of lakes and rivers. And at night the hippos venture out to eat their share of plant matter. A hippopotamus will often eat about 77 lbs. of grass in a single night. (Over 34 kg.)
We continue to see records made within our list of animals that live in Africa. The ostrich is fascinating for any number of reasons. But it tops the list in two categories. The ostrich is the world’s largest bird. And it’s also the fastest runner among both birds and two legged animals in general.
What’s more, the bird is simply an amazing sight to see. We can clearly recognize birds as the last branch of the dinosaurs by looking at an ostrich. These giant birds truly evoke the mystery of their prehistoric relatives.
Chimpanzees and humans have a lot in common. After all, we share about 98% of our DNA with this particular great ape.
Their social interactions and even tool use hint at how similar chimps and humans really are. They’re so similar to humans that they easily rank among the smartest animals on Earth. And these amazing animals are only found in the wild within Africa.
Vultures are an iconic part of pop culture. Most of us have seen TV shows or movies where vultures signify that a character might be facing his end. Their use in media highlights the fact that vultures do prefer carrion over any other type of food. They’re so tuned to leftovers from another animal’s meal that they can smell carrion from as much as a mile away.
Crocodiles are certainly one of the most eye catching animals in the world. Like the alligator and ostrich, crocodiles seem like a remnant of the ancient past. A crocodile really does look like a dinosaur in a slightly smaller form factor.
The huge reptiles have a strange beauty to them. But their fearsome jaws also earn the respect of anyone who sees them in the wilds of Africa. Those same jaws also hold some interesting mysteries.
For example, it turns out that a crocodile’s jaw has a second set of joints. This helps to properly distribute and direct the full 16,000 newton force of its bite. In comparison a human bite only delivers a force of 500 newtons.
Meerkats are perhaps best known for their portrayal in cartoons. But these tiny mammals are just as amazing in real life as they are in fiction. For example, they really do live in large families and dig elaborate tunnels.
Meerkats typically forage together in smaller groups. One meerkat will take on a lookout position to search for potential predators. This sentry will let out little chirps to inform his family that everything’s fine and that they can keep searching for food.
- Cape buffalo
Cape buffalo, also known as African buffalo, are often drawn covered in mud and with birds on their back. This might seem like a cartoonish affectation. However, in reality the African buffalo really does cultivate a fine layer of mud over its body. The mud helps to keep ticks and other parasites at bay. And those parasites undeterred by the mud are often eaten by birds such as the oxpecker.
However, the buffalo isn’t as friendly as it might appear at first glance. Buffalo are good friends with birds but that doesn’t extend to most other animals it encounters. Buffalo are typically rather aggressive. Given that they can run up to 37 miles per hour (59.54 km/h.) and travel in large groups this makes them best appreciated through binoculars.
We hope you have enjoyed this list of animals that live in Africa and some amazing facts about them. What is your favorite African animal?