Interesting trivia about Africa's diverse species
Long considered to be a subspecies of the African elephant, the Africa forest elephant is now considered by many scientists to be its own species—separate from the African savanna, or bush, elephant. It is smaller than the better-known savanna elephant, has tusks that are straight and point downward, unlike the savanna elephants curved tusks, and has rounded ears while the savanna elephant’s ears are more pointed.
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Chameleons change color when they are excited or under duress. Tiny crystals under their skin contract and expand as chameleons react to stimuli in their environment. The size and spacing of these crystals determine which wavelengths of light are reflected, resulting in lizards’ shifting shades.
Video Captures Catlike Creature Riding Rare Rhino
New camera-trap footage shows a genet on the back of a black rhinoceros in South Africa. Craig Sholley, wildlife biologist and vice president of the African Wildlife Foundation, says genets likely jump on big herbivores to search for food. "It’s novel, but nothing in the world of nature surprises me anymore," Sholley says. "That’s why I keep going back to Africa."
Unlike many ungulates in Africa, zebras do not require short grass to graze. Instead, they eat a wide variety of different grasses, sometimes even eating leaves and young trees. As a result, zebras can range more widely than many other species, often venturing into woodlands. Zebras are considered to be “pioneer grazers”—preparing plains for more specialized grazers who rely on short, nutritional grasses.
Grevy’s zebras have faced one of the most substantial reductions of range of any African mammal.
The long-legged Grevy’s zebra is the largest of the wild equids. It is distinguished by its unique stripes, which are as distinctive as human fingerprints. It is taller, and has larger ears and narrower stripes than plains zebras.