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Mammals - African Mammals
What is the collective name for a group of lions?

Mammals - African Mammals

Africa is home to a rich and wide variety of mammals. From the large beasts such as buffalo, rhinoceros and hippopotamus to the smaller squirrels, hedgehogs and rats. Africa has benefitted from its wildlife in the form of tourism. Every year, thousands of people visit Africa and go on safari to see the animals in their natural environment.

To appreciate the beauty of the animals, click on the image for a bigger picture.

What is the plural of the word hippopotamus?
Photograph courtesy of Vidnaray
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Hippopotamidae
  • Genus: Hippopotamus
  • Species: H. amphibius
  • Known as 'river horses' to the ancient Greeks.
  • The Hippo's closest living relatives are whales, dolphins and porpoises.
  • Is well adapted for an amphibious life as its eyes, ears and nostrils are all placed on the very top of the head.
Hippopotami can also be used.
Can you identify this African mammal?
Photograph courtesy of alex roberts
Patas monkey
Senegal Bushbaby
Moustached Guenon
De Brazza's Monkey
  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Cercopithecidae
  • Genus: Erythrocebus
  • Species: E. patas
  • Of the primates, this monkey is the fastest reaching speeds of up to 55 km/h (34 mph).
  • Prefers the open savanna and semi-deserts than dense woodlands.
  • Feeds on tubers, seeds, insects and gum.
Can you identify this African mammal?
Photograph courtesy of Masteraah
Giant Anteater
Ground Pangolin
Northern Tamandua
  • Order: Pholidota
  • Family: Manidae
  • Genus: Manis
  • Species: M. temminckii
  • Rare and notoriously hard to spot.
  • It is mostly nocturnal.
  • Has a very long sticky tongue for catching termites and ants.
  • Can grow to approximately 1 metre, with a disproportionately small head.
What is the gestation period of a female elephant?
Photograph courtesy of
16 months
18 months
20 months
22 months
  • Order: Proboscidea
  • Family: Elephantidae
  • Genus: Loxodonta
  • Species: L. africana
  • The largest land mammal and much-loved by tourists.
  • They feed for up to 16 hours a day!
  • It is rare to see a lone elephant.
  • Elephants can live for as long as 60 years.
It is the longest gestation period among mammals.
The Toys "R" Us mascot is a giraffe. What is his name?
Photograph courtesy of
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Giraffidae
  • Genus: Giraffa
  • Species: G. camelopardalis
  • Tallest animal in the world.
  • The acacia tree is its preferred food.
  • They usually sleep standing up.
  • Its tongue can be up to 53 cms long!
  • Can go for weeks without drinking water.
How many toes does an aardvark's front feet have?
Photograph courtesy of Scotto Bear
  • Order: Tubulidentata
  • Family: Orycteropodidae
  • Genus: Orycteropus
  • Species: O. afer
  • A shy, nocturnal mammal native to Africa.
  • Its name means 'earth pig' although it is not related to the pig.
  • Much larger than most people expect, weighing about the same as an adult Cheetah at around 40 kg.
Its back feet have 5 toes!
What are rhino horns made of?
Photograph courtesy of Esculapio
  • Order: Perissodactyla
  • Family: Rhinocerotidae
  • Genus: Ceratotherium
  • Species: C. simum
  • The white rhino is a grazer of grass.
  • Apart from man, adult rhinos have no natural enemies.
  • Females are rarely solitary, however males are less sociable.
  • An adult male can weigh an average of 2,000 kg.
Our hair and fingernails are also made of keratin.
What is the collective name for a group of lions?
Photograph courtesy of Ltshears - Trisha M Shears
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Panthera
  • Species: P. leo
  • Known as 'King of Beasts', a favourite on safari.
  • A group of Spotted Hyenas is able to dispossess lions of their prey.
  • 'Lion' was the nickname of warriors with a brave reputation - think of Richard the Lionheart.
Can you name this African mammal?
Photograph courtesy of Haplochromis
Olive Baboon
Blue Monkey
Yellow Baboon
Patas Monkey
  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Cercopithecidae
  • Genus: Papio
  • Species: P. anubis
  • Live in troops with between 20 to 80 individuals.
  • An adult male is formidable and only the lion and leopard are its concern.
  • Can become a nuisance at camps and picnic sites, stealing the food from humans.
  • Also known as the Anubis baboon.
  • Found in 25 countries throughout Africa.
A cheetah is unable to do what?
Photograph courtesy of
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Acinonyx
  • Species: A. jubatus
  • The fastest of the world's land mammals.
  • Often robbed of its kill by scavenging lions or hyenas.
  • The only cat that relies on speed to capture prey.


Author:  Sarah Garratty

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