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Tang

 

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Africa

African Crested Porcupine

(Hystrix cristata)

Idol & Cyndi

 

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Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Hystricidae

Genus: Hystrix

Species: H. cristata

Binomial name

Hystrix cristata

Linnaeus, 1758

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The African Crested porcupine is the largest in the world. Their quills measure up to 13 inches long and when confronted by a predictor the porcupines will stomp their feet, click their teeth and rattle the hollow quills. The porcupine rasises their quills to make themselves look bigger and will run backwards at you ramming the animal or person with the quills which lodge into the skin and injure or kill. 

 

African Crested porcupines are nocturnal and will travel up to nine miles in the dark foraging for food. They eat root crops, bark, bulbs and tubers. While they forage alone they are monogamous and live in small groups. The female will carry one to four babies for about 112 days. While they have sharp teeth and open eyes when born, their quills are soft hardening about a week later when they leave their den. 

African Crested porcupines are not endangered and are considered pests since they eat crops and burrow extensively.  They will weigh up to 66 pounds and will range from two to three feet in size. 

Fennec Fox

(Vulpes zerda)

Sting & Roxie

 

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Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Vulpes

Species: V. zerda

Binomial name

Vulpes zerda

(Zimmermann, 1780)

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The Fennec fox or "desert fox" is the smallest fox in the world. They typically weigh from 1.76 pounds to 3.3 pounds. The tail makes up the majority of the body length. These beautiful foxes have extremely large ears in comparison to the body. The ears help disperse heat and extreme panting also helps regulate body temperature. Breathing rates can increase form 23 breaths per minutue to 690 breaths per minute. Burrowing underground in the heat of the desert day and obtaining moisture from food, the fennec fox can live for long periods without water. They are omnivores eating fruit, leaves, roots, rodents, eggs, birds, insects and more.

 The fennec foy has 32 chromosome pairs, while other fox species have between 35 and 39. The species also displays behaviors uncharacteristic of foxes, such as living in packs while most other fox species are solitary. Its phylogenetic relationship is presented in the cladogram below

Fennec foxes breed once a year in January or February, carry the young for about 50 days and have from 1 to 6 pups. The pups are born with eyes closed and typically weigh under 2 ounces. Fennec foxes are monogamous and live from 10-12 years. 

Four-Toed Hedgehog

(Atelerix albiventris)

Mr Pickles & Mrs Butter

 

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Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Eulipotyphla

Family: Erinaceidae

Genus: Atelerix

Species: A. albiventris

Binomial name

Atelerix albiventris

(Wagner, 1841)

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Populations tend to be scattered between suitable savannah or cropland habitats, avoiding forested areas. The species common name is derived from the number of toes found on its hind feet. 

The main predators of four-toed hedgehogs within their natural habitat are Verreaux's eagle-owl, jackals, hyenas, and honey badgers.

This species tends to prefer temperatures between 24 and 30 °C. When it is hotter than that, it tends to find shelter in a burrow and go into a state of estivation, or when it is colder it goes into a state of hibernation in order to conserve energy. 

The four-toed hedgehog is a solitary, nocturnal animal. It generally moves along the ground, but is capable of both climbing and swimming when the need arises. It is highly energetic, sometimes covering miles of ground in a single night as it forages for insects, grubs, snails, spiders, some plant matter, and even small vertebrates. It has a high tolerance for toxins and has been recorded consuming scorpions and even venomous snakes.

The most common sounds made by four-toed hedgehogs are snorts, hisses, and a quiet twittering sound. When attacked, the animal can scream loudly, and males also produce a birdlike call during courtship. 

When encountering a predator, its standard defensive reaction is to tense up all the muscles on its back to cause its spines to stand erect, and then roll into a ball protecting its limbs and head. If it is harassed further, it will twitch in an attempt to jab spines into the predator and make snuffling/grunting noises. Its spines are not released into the skin of an attacker, as those of a porcupine. Hedgehogs only rarely lose quills during adulthood; heavy quill loss is usually a warning sign as to the animal's health.

When the four-toed hedgehog is introduced to a new or particularly strong smell, it will sometimes do what is referred to as self-anointing. It creates a large amount of foam by combining the aromatic substance with its saliva, and spreads it onto its spines. The purpose of this behavior is poorly understood, but it is thought to be a defensive action, as hedgehogs have been known to self-anoint with poisonous toads. Lifespan is typically 4–6 years. Due to its energetic nature, many owners provide their hedgehog with a large running wheel. Some measure the distances their pets run every night, and some have claimed that their hedgehogs run upwards of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) a night with speed bursts in excess of 16 kilometres per hour (9.9 mph).

Dromedary Camel

(Camelus dromedarius)

Snoopy & Woodstock

 

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Conservation Status

Domesticated

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Camelidae

Genus: Camelus

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C. dromedarius

Binomial name

Camelus dromedarius

(Linnaeus, 1758)

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Dromedary camels have only one hump. This hump stores up to 80 pounds of fat that can be broken down into water and energy when water is not available. The camel can travel 100 miles without water. They can also consume 30 gallons of water in under 15 minutes when very thirsty. Camels rarely sweat even when temperatures reach 120 degrees fahrenheit. They are herbivorous, foraging for grasses, thorny plants and saltbush or anything they can find in the desert. 

 

Dromedary camels weigh up to 1300 pounds and their hump can reach 7-8 feet in height with a lifespan of up to 40 years. 

Grant's Zebra

(Equus quagga boehmi)

Zora, Zara, Zoey, Zachie & Ziva

 

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Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order:Perissodactyla

Family: Equidae

Genus: Equus

Species: E. quagga

Subspecies: E. q. boehmi

Trinomial name

Equus quagga boehmi

(Matschie, 1892)

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Grant's zebra is the smallest of the seven subspecies of the plains zebra. This subspecies represents the zebra form of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. This northern subspecies is vertically striped in front, horizontally on the back legs, and diagonally on the rump and hind flanks. Shadow stripes are absent or only poorly expressed. The stripes, as well as the inner spaces, are broad and well defined. Northerly specimens may lack a mane.

Grant’s zebras grow to be about 120 to 140 cm (3.9 to 4.6 ft) tall, and generally weigh about 300 kg (660 lb). The zebras live in family groups of up to 18 zebras, and they are led by a single stallion. Grant’s zebras typically live 20 years. More Grant’s zebras are in the wild than any other species or subspecies of zebras. Unlike Grevy and mountain zebras, they are not endangered. Grant’s zebras eat the coarse grasses that grow on the African plains, and they are resistant to diseases that often kill cattle, so the zebras do well in the African savannas. However, recent civil wars and political conflicts in the African countries near their habitats has caused regional extinction, and sometimes zebras are killed for their coats, or to eliminate competition with domestic livestock.

Zebras are exclusively herbivorous, meaning that they only eat plants. Their diet is almost entirely made up of grasses, but they also eat leaves, bark, shrubs, and more.

Like all members of the horse family, zebras spend more time feeding than ruminant herbivores, such as antelope and wildebeest do. This is because horses, including zebras, do not chew the cud. Instead the cellulose in their food is broken down in their cecum. (The cecum is a blind ended sac at the far end of their small intestine). This is not as efficient as the method used by ruminants but is more effective at breaking down coarse vegetation. Hence although zebras must feed for longer each day than antelope and wildebeest do, they can consume grasses and other plants with higher fiber content or lower protein levels than ruminants can digest. 

Female zebras can have one foal per year. Their gestation period is around 360 – 395 days long, depending on the species. The mother will protect her foal, and it can stand, walk, and run shortly after birth. This is especially important, as foals are vulnerable to predators. Foals will nurse from their mother for up to one year before being weaned.

Grant's Zebras like many other Zebras are highly social creatures and different species have different social structures. In some species, one stallion guards a harem of females, while other species remain in groups, but do not form strong social bonds. They can frequently change herd structure, and will change companions every few months.

Bat-eared Fox

(Otocyon megalotis)

Radar & Sonar

 

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