If there is a continent that is so rich in various animal species, it is Africa. African animals are so diverse in physical characteristics, attitude, instincts and behavior in general. A lot has been discovered and documented about the Animals of Africa but there are still quite a number of weird facts about these Animals found in Africa that are not widely known; some of their characteristics are governed and exhibited as a result of inherent instincts, some by bizarre survival strategies while some other traits are just part of the entire animalistic behaviour attributed to each specie that makes it unique. This article explores some of these innate but weird qualities possessed by these African animals.
1. African elephant
The African elephant is the largest of elephants on the planet and are usually found in Kenya and South Africa. Apart from having quite a long nose it has a very powerful sense of smell that is capable of smelling water 3 miles away. Each flapping ear weighs up to 110 pounds (50 kg) and the female elephants are known to reproduce every 4 years from the time they are 12 years old however, the calving spacing increases to 5 years from when she is 52 and 6 years when the elephant is 60 years old if there is need for more offspring otherwise, in elephant crowded areas, reproduction can be suspended for as long as 13 years. Despite having 4 legs, the elephant is the only mammal that cannot jump.
Cheetahs are not known to roar but rather make a chirping sound that is very similar to the yelping of a dog and the chirping of birds among other sounds. This sound is so intense that it can be heard up to a mile away. Apart from being the fastest land animals that can achieve blazing speeds of up to 113 km/hr accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3 seconds, these African animals are also the only animals from the big cat family that can turn in mid-air while sprinting and are able to retract their claws.
Anteaters are one group of African animals whose name does not depict what it does. Anteaters in reality prefer to eat termites and not ants hence there may be need for a change of name in the future.
Ostriches are the world’s heavies and largest bird. They are found to inhabit only the central and southern parts of Africa. The male ostriches weigh up to 350 pounds. These flightless African animals are among the fastest bipedal animals, a feat aided by their very long legs that is also used for attack when frightened and a single kick could be fatal to a lion. When it comes to reproduction and recognition, a female ostrich shows a very remarkable ability to recognize her own eggs even after they are mixed with those of other ostriches from the same communal environment and talking about eggs, 1 ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs and takes about 2 hours to boil.
These African animals have made a lasting history as the largest egg laid by any living bird is that of the North African Ostrich. The egg measures 6 to 8 inches in length and 4 to 6 inches in diameter. It is a fact that the ostrich does not stick its head in the sand when scared or in search of water as supported by an 8 year that used about 200,000 ostriches which suggested no incident of an ostrich sticking its head in sand.
The sitatunga, are species of African antelope that are very skilled in swimming and capable of sleeping underwater for camouflage. They give birth to their young on a dry, trampled mat in the swamp, where they lie in concealment for as long as a month, with only short suckling visits from their mother when they return from foraging .