Our Beautiful World

Ngorogoro, Tanzania

Ngorogoro, one of Africa's most famous attractions. From the top of the crater-rim at
3.000 m asl, you have to get down the walls, about 600 m , and you will find a plase like
the Garden with every type of animal you would hope to see in East Africa.
That is Ngorogoro Game Reserve, one of the last places where you can find so many
different wild animals at one place, about 75.000 of them at present.

The Game Reserve is situated in the northern part of Tanzania, and covers about 6.000 km².
The center of the reserve lies, as told, in the bottom of a large caldera that was once an active volcano.

Flamingos are large wading birds with very long legs and neck, an abruptly turned-down bill,
and an unfeathered face. They are found in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean area. Flamingos are white, pinkish white, or vermilion, with black flight feathers (remiges); they stand from 90 cm to 1.5 m (3 to 5 ft) tall. Flamingos feed on minute animal
and vegetable matter, such as algae and diatoms, or on small molluscs or crustaceans. When feeding, the flamingo places its head and bill upside down below the surface of the water.
Using its thick, fleshy tongue, the bird forces muddy water through the serrated edges of its bill, thus straining the water and trapping the edible material in it

Thanks to a lake of soda, a volcanic left-over, which for some reason attracts the flamingos, is believed to give the flamingoes their rose colour (?). But most wild animals down here in
the crater, are animals, like the Zebra:

The zebra is a distinctly striped, hoofed mammal in the genus Equus (which includes the horse
and the ass) of the family Equidae. The head and body are about 2.3 m long, with a 56-cm
tail ending in a tuft of hair. The height at the shoulder is 1.2 to 1.5 m ; the weight reaches up
to 346.5 kg. The smooth whitish or tawny coat is marked with striking dark brown or black
bands or stripes, which have a distinctive pattern in each of the three species of zebras.

The zebras inhabit open grassy plains and some mountain areas in eastern, central, and
southern Africa.Zebras form their own herds or mingle with other peaceful grazing animals
such as antelopes, wildebeests, and ostriches. A zebra stallion gathers together a small harem
of mares with their foals. When stalked by a lion or leopard--their natural enemies--zebras
can run at speeds up to 60 km/hr. Extensive hunting for their skins has reduced their numbers.

Unsuccessful attempts have been made to domesticate them for use as mounts and work
animals and to cross them with horses to produce a draft animal. But the zebras have to
share the gras with many other animals, like the Gnu:

The wildebeest, or gnu, of the genus Connochaetes in the
family Bovidae, is an antelope with down-curving horns from
the grassy plains of central and southern Africa. Body length is
up to 2 m , shoulder height is about 1.4 m , and weight is
up to 270 kg.

The text in the section above is mainly Based upon The New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia,
and author is believed to be Everett Sentman.
All the pictures are copyright © Knut Petter Ellefskås

Of course, there can be no African animals without the Elephant.
Elephants constitute the family Elephantidae in the mammalian order Proboscidea. Each of
the two living genera has a single species: Loxodonta africana, the African elephant, and
Elephas maximus, the Asian, or Indian, elephant. African elephants are the largest living
land animals, although some forest-dwelling African elephants are small. The largest African elephants are 7.5 m long, including the trunk. They have a 1.4-m tail, stand 4 m tall at the shoulders, and weigh 7,500 kg


Monkeys, you can watch them for hours - may be they look just like someone
you know about ? Then here is one that doesn't have to climb the trees to get his food:

The giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, family Giraffidae, order Artiodactyla, is the tallest of all animals, as much as 5.5 m high.
A series of valves in the vessels of the vascular system ensures a blood supply to the head. The shoulder height may be
up to 3.7 m , and the weight 1,400 kg . There are usually three skin-covered horns, two on top of the head and one
between the eyes. Patterns and shades of dark patches on the tawny coat, which help conceal the animals
when they stand in the shade of trees, vary among the subspecies. The long tongue is used for plucking leaves from trees.
Giraffes live on tree-dotted grasslands south of the Sahara in Africa. Their chief foods are acacia and mimosa leaves.
When startled, a giraffe can gallop up to 48 km/h (30 mph) for a moderate distance. The female gives birth to a single
young, rarely twins. The lifespan is from 15 to 20 years

Now to something big again. The river-horse...
Hippopotamuses are two species of herbivorous, chiefly aquatic mammals belonging to the
family Hippopotamidae, order Artiodactyla. The name hippopotamus means "river horse."
With the exception of the elephant, Hippopotamus amphibius is the largest living land animal
and may weigh more than 3,600 kg . It may be 4.3 m long and measure 1.5 m tall at the
shoulder. The hippopotamus has short legs, and its eyes and nostrils protrude high on
the head, which allows it to stay comfortably submerged in water for long periods.
Hippopotamus amphibius lives from the Upper Nile to South Africa. The calf is born
and nurses underwater.

this one is a surprise!

If you haven't seen Crocodile Dundee, may be you don't know what it is. It's mentioned
even in the Bible, where it is called Leviathan, and that word indicates something that
is wreathed, or gathered into folds.

Crocodiles are found in tropical Africa, Australia, and Asia, in the islands of the western
Pacific Ocean, and in the tropical parts of North and South America. Adult crocodiles may
differ in size from one species to another.The Nile crocodiles are known to have reached
lengths of up to 6 m and to weigh a ton or more.

Crocodiles swim or float on the surface of the water, exposing only their eyes, nostrils, flat tail,
and webbed toes. A fleshy valve in the throat allows them to open their mouths in the water without choking. The nostrils can also be tightly closed, and their ears have flaps that can be closed to keep out water. Besides the normal upper and lower eyelids, crocodiles have a transparent third eyelid, the nictitating membrane, which allows the crocodile to see underwater. Crocodiles swim by moving their tails while holding their legs close to their bodies.

Most crocodiles hunt at night and bask (often with the mouth open) during the day; hungry crocodiles, however, hunt during the day as well. Generally, they feed on other vertebrate
animals. The Nile crocodile often catch large animals--for example, antelope, deer, hogs and some times attack humans.. Both species are also known to attack humans.

The female crocodile lays her eggs in nests made of vegetation or in sand banks and remains
with them until the heat of the Sun causes them to hatch about 3 months later. It is believed
that she digs up the young when they begin to call and either carries them in her mouth
or leads them to the water. This is a bit uncertain, and scientists are looking for volunteers
that can stay overnight beside their nests.....

Now, nearly forgot to tell you about the King himself....

Lions, species Panthera leo, are among the great or roaring cats of the family Felidae.
Though the male lion is called the king of beasts, it is the less heavy and majestic female
lion that does most of the stalking and killing of prey and is the center of the lion pride (family).
A male lion may be 1.8-2.4 m long, with the addition of a tufted tail of 58-89 cm , stand
about 90 cm tall at the shoulder, and weigh 175-225 kg

Within historic times the lion was common in many parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Today it is found only in protected areas south of the Sahara in Africa and in the Gir forest, a wildlife sanctuary in India. Lions favor open, grassy plains and thornbush country where water
is available. They avoid dense forests. The prides are strongly territorial, defending against intrusion by other prides. Lions hunt at night and are a major factor in controlling the
populations of grazing animals on the African savanna


No more pictures of african animals :   so, don't click here!

But you can check our list of more than 200 animals here

The lion-pictures has been taken from the Cambrix CD:
Explore The Untamed World
© 1996 Alpenglow, Ind.
Photographers: Jonathan and Angela Scott
whom we haven't found yet, to get their permission.......

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