Given the vastness of the continent of Africa. it will come as no surprise that the actual numbers of animals and other creatures living there is not known although numbers are clearer for endangered species as their populations are monitored closely. What is known is that there are 1,100 mammal species in Africa, 2,600 bird species, at least 117 reptile species, 260 amphibian species, 3000 species of freshwater fish and 100,000 species of insects. Here we list the main animals of Africa.
There are five species of baboons living both in Arabia and Africa. Measuring two to three foot long, they are some of the world's largest monkeys and primarily live in savannah areas and open woodlands across Africa though some also live in forests. Living for around 30yrs in troops of around five to two hundred and fifty they are many herbivores although although eat meat and fish on occasion.
Bat Eared Fox
Living in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana South Africa, Angola, Tanzania, Sudan and Ethiopia, the Bat Eared Fox measures just under two feet in length but with ears that are over five inches long, hence its name. They live on grassy plains and live for approximately six years feeding primarily on insects, mainly termites and grasshoppers. A single bat eared fox can devour 1.15 million termites each year.
The Beisa Oryx is a member of the antelope family and is mainly found on the coast of Eritrea and around the Horn of Africa. Measuring 5-6ft long and standing 3-4ft tall at the shoulder, the Beisa Oryx lives or around 18yrs in herds of 5-40 individuals and has a diet of fruits, leaves and buds. Older males tend to leave the herd and live a solitary existence where they are preyed on by leopards, hyenas and lions.
Despite its name, the Blue Monkey is not actually blue and mainly lives in the rainforests of central, eastern, and southern Africa as well as in the Congo basin. With a lifespan of around 20yrs, they are a social species living in groups of between 10-40 individuals. They feed on fruits and leaves but also worms and slugs and are a known destroyer of exotic trees and crops. As such, in countries like Uganda they are seen as a pest and are often killed for their meat.
Another of Africa's antelopes, the Bongo is mainly found in the dense rainforests of West Africa and from the Congo Basin to the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan although wide scale hunting has seen their population diminish sharply over the past few decades and they are now considered "near threatened." Living for up to 18 years, they are herbivores and the largest and heaviest of the forest antelopes measuring 50" at the shoulder and weighing 500-900lbs.
The African Bonobo, is found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo and just 100,000 now remain having seen their numbers decimated by war in that country, deforestation and hunting. An endangered species, they are a close relative of humans, and live for some 40yrs mainly on fruits, but it is likely that within the next few decades they will disappear altogether, as their birth cycle of 5-6 years isn't fast enough to sustain the dwindling population.
Another African antelope, the Bontebok now only exists in protected highveld areas of South Africa and Lesotho, securing their future from the threat of extinction that appeared inevitable in the 19th Century when numbers dropped to under 20 in the wild. The Bontebok stands around 3ft tall and is 4-6ft in length and they live in herds of around forty individuals although, in dry season, herd of some 250 have been observed. They mainly east grasses.
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