You read the information on the fascinating and unique animals that make up Africa’s Little 5. Now read the bizarre, the interesting, and the unbelievable about these little animals…
|Elephant shrew yawning.|
All of the 18 species are found exclusively in the hot and wild continent of Africa. They are related to sea cows, aardvarks, hyraxes and even elephants!
The species known as the Checkered Elephant shrew can leap up to 3 feet in the air and is a speedy runner. The Golden-Rumped Elephant shrew has skin 3 times thicker on its bum than anywhere else on its body. This is because it acts as shield against the bites of butt-flies.
|White headed buffalo weaver.|
These birds unlike most animals have benefited from the disturbance of human settlements in the savannah. If the people leave the area, the colony of the birds will often leave too.
When building their nests in South Africa they often face in the direction of North or North East.
They are also one of the very few birds to have an ummm…phalliod organ. Both of the sexes have them but the males are much longer. A successful mating session takes 10 – 20 minutes long.
|Leopard Tortoise swimming.|
These tortoises live up to 100 years and are the largest species of tortoises found in South Africa.
They are the only tortoise without a protective scute above the neck, which allows them to raise their neck and to be able to swim in water.
The sex of the baby tortoise is determined due the temperature the egg is kept at when being incubated. Eggs are incubated between 26 and 34 degrees.
– 26 to 31 degrees will be male
– 31 to 34 degrees will turn out to be female
|An adult Ant lion.|
The ant lion larvae prefer to face their pits in the southerly direction.
They will fake death when held in your hand.
The larvae won’t poop and keep their waste in their body which gets turned into silk when they are in their cocoon, the rest is pooped out when they become adults.
|2 male rhino beetles in battle.|
They are famously known for their largeness in size and for being super strong with the ability to pick up something 850 times their own weight, that would be like you carrying over 50 mini vans on your back!
The female beetle lays hundreds of little oval shaped eggs usually on a leaf or rotten word. When the eggs hatch they go into the larvae stage. During the larvae stage they will eat an enormous amount of food and grow. These beetle will pass through 3 – 5 different stages during the larval period. It enters into the pupal stage which can take up to 9 months and it commonly occurs during the winter months. The adult will then emerge from the cocoon.
The males are the only ones to have horns and the size of their horn is related to the nutrition they gained while growing up. The males will use their horns to fight each other.
These little animals are Epic!