The Colobus monkeys live in the forests of Africa, high above the forest floor in the crowns of trees and almost never descend to the ground. Possessing small thumbs that enable them to swing through the branches of the forest the Colobus monkeys can move swiftly from one tree to the next. Feasting mainly on a diet of leaves from the trees in which they live, Colobus monkeys have a lifespan of about 25 years and generally weigh between 20-50 lbs.
Most commonly found in Africa's Kalahari desert, meerkats live in a social group known as a mob. Each mob can number from 10 to 30 members, each belonging to different families units, lead by the female of the family. A member of the mongoose species, meerkats' diet consists of bugs, insects, fruits, small animals and birds. Meerkats forage for their food, and have a set of claws that allow them to dig for the insects that they eat. Their strong claws also enable them to burrow into the ground. While foraging for food, the responsibility of being the lookout is given to one individual, who's sole task is to make the group aware of any predators (snakes, servals, vultures, and jackals) that may be nearby.
Meerkats only reproduce once a year, having a litter that numbers between two and six pups. Born with their eyes and ears closed, pups stay underground with their mother for the first few weeks until they are ready to join the group. Other members of the mob then help in the raising of the youngsters by babysitting and teaching the young to hunt and forage for food. On average, a meerkats life span is twelve years.
Hamadryas baboons live in troops that can number up to 200 members and each troop is subdivided into bands with as many as 60 members. Males of the species are easily distinguishable from females by their larger physic, measuring as much as three feet long and weight as much as 55 lbs. Males are also distinguished by their gray fur, and mane around their head and neck. Females of the species are smaller, measuring up to two feet in length, and can weigh up to 30 lbs, a females fur is normally a brownish color. While both males and females have a redish behind, adapted to enable them to sit for long periods of time, the females behind becomes more red and swolled when in heat.
Hamadryas baboons live in the dry rocky regions of Ethiopia and Somalia. Their diet consists mainly or roots, leaves, small insects, and occasionally small mammals. While these baboons travel in large groops, they walk mainly on all four leges and often groom each other, removing and eating the insects from one anothers coats.
The term "bateleur" is french for tightrope-walker, which was probably given to this bird because of its aerial acrobatics. These large birds have a wing span of 72 to 84 inches in length and weigh around four to six pounds. Bateleur eagles an average life span of 20-25 years, yet only two percent of all chicks make it to adulthood. Males are the smaller of the species.
These eagles are identified by their black feathers, white feathers under their wings, and bright read face and feet. They spend up to eight or nine hours a day in the air looking for food. They eat a diet of mice, birds, snakes and carrion, which is dead and decaying food. These eagles are most commonly found south of the Sahara Desert in Africa and prefers to live in the trees along the grasslands of the savannah.
The fennec fox is the smallest of all the fox species measuring less than 17 inches in length. With a long tail, measuring 8 inches in length, the fox is able to change directions quickly when running and it tail keeps its face and feet warm when it curls up to sleep. Equiped with very large ears for its size, these ears give the fox the ablility to hear preditors a great distance away. Its ears also allow the fox to keep cool, acting as a vent to allow heat to escape its body.
Most commonly found in the Sahara desert of Africa and in the northern part of Saudi Arabia. Since the fox lives in the desert, it is a nocturnal creature, and has protective hair on the soles of its feet to protect it from the hot desert sand. Since they live in the desert, they can go for long periods of time without water. They eat a diet of fruits, berries, and other plants, as well as lizards, insects, and small rodents and a great majority of their water comes from the foods they eat.
This interesting looking bird is most commonly found among the along forest lined rivers of Southeast Africa. So named for is trumpet sounding call, this bird gives off an number of extremely loud calls, but its most common sound that it emits sounds a lot like a crying infant. Hornbills diet consist mainly of fruit found in its habitat, and forages for food by bounding and hoping around, even though they can fly. Hornbills are known to roost in groups of three to as many as thirteen individuals, and commonly roost in natural holes in trees. Hornbills normally breed from October to December and lay between two to four eggs at a time. Eggs normally hatch after fifteen days.
The dry and dense thickets of East and Southwest Africa create a perfect home for the dik-dik. Theses small antelopes are often seen searching for food in the morning and late afternoon. Their diet consists mainly of grasses, fruit and leaves. These small creatures only stand 14-17 inches tall and normally weigh less than 14 lbs. Maiting pairs of dik-dik's shares and defend a teritory. With special glands below the eyes that provides a special sent that allows the dik-dik to mark it teritory. Males have small horns and are slightly shorter then the females. When the dik-dik sences danger or a preditor, it gives out a call that sounds like its name, "dik-dik."
Another animal common in sub-Saharan Africa, rock pythons are are cold-blooded serpents that grow to an average length of 18-20 feet, but can grow as long as 28 feet. Identified by their tan scales with brown spots that are outlined in black, rock pythons also have a "V" shape marking on their face/head.
Rock pythons are carnivores and subdue their prey by constricting (squeezing) it until it can no longer breathe. Their diet is made up of monkeys, small deer, pigs, and birds (among other animals). Their jaws are attached by ligaments that allow them to swallow their prey whole, head first and are digested by strong stomach acids. While rock pythons are often eaten by crocodiles, mongooses, and badgers, humans are the most threat to these animals. They are hunted for their meat and skin.
Debrazza's monkeys can be found in mountain forests, swamps, and along streams in Uganda and from Ethiopia to southern Cameroon. With a lifespan of around 20 years, Debrazza's monkeys grow to a length of 3.5-5 feet (including tail length) and weigh between 9-17 pounds. Their diet is made up mainly of leaves, sprouts, fruit, and insects.
Debrazza's monkeys are identified by their long tails witch is longer than the combined length of their head and body, which helps them balance themselves as they make their way through the trees. Their distinctive white beard and mustache and orange-red fur across their forehead stand out from their olive-gray color fur on the remainder of their body.
Debrazza's monkeys live in small family units consisting of a male, female, and offspring, but sometimes a male is found living among several females. While Debrazza's monkeys are often prey for leopards and pythons, the biggest threat to their existent is habitat destruction.
The African serval is most commonly found along the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. This medium-size cat stands between 18-24 inches tall and weighs between 18-45 pounds. With their large ears, they are able to hear rodents, birds, squirrels and other small creatures which they feed upon. Combining their good hearing with their spotted coat and long legs, servals are able to hid among the grasses while hunting for food.
Even though they are members of the cat family, the large cats such as lions and leopards, have been known to prey on servals.
Savanna monitors are commonly found in the dry grasslands, deserts, and savannas from Ethiopia to Senegal. Reaching a length of five to six feet, the monitor has a long neck, muscular arms and legs, strong claws and a powerful tail. Most often found on land, this animal is also a good swimmer and can climb trees. The monitor diet is mainly carnivorous, feasting on carrion, snails, and insects. Its forked tounge helps the monitor to search out it prey in the same manner as a snake.
Monitors are often hunted for their skin and their meat which is consumed as food. These monitors are also widely found in the pet trade and are common pets in the United States.
Ball pythons make their home in the savannah grasslands and rainforests of western Africa, most commonly in the countries of Togo, Benin, and Ghana. They are characterized by their black and light brown-green color and their underbelly is predominately tan. Their name describes the sakes defense mechanism because when they feel threatened, they coil up in a tight ball with their head at the center of the ball and can stay that way for long periods of time.
Adults reach lengths ranging from 3-6 feet, females are the larger of the species reaching lengths averaging 3-5 feet. Males are generally average 2-5 feet in length. These pythons have a life span
ranging between 20 to 40 years and consume a diet of small mammals. Since these reptiles grow to a lenght that is quite managable, they are commonly found in the pet trade.