Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Zebras, rhinos, and giraffes oh my! A mammal extravaganza

Common zebra (Equus quagga) in Ngorongoro Conservation Area,

There are roughly 5,000 mammal species on Planet Earth. Some extraordinary species inhabit East Africa. Enjoy them!

Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in Ngorongoro Conservation Area,

All mammals exhibit three basic characteristics. All mammals have three middle ear bones that help transmit vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. All mammals have hair at some point in their lives. All female mammals produce milk from mammary glands (modified sweat glands) to nourish their offspring. 

African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Serengeti National Park,

After those three standards, although there are other shared characteristics, the forms of mammals are very diverse. From mice to elephants (and whales if you really want to go big), mammals vary in size. From giraffes to bats, mammals vary in body shape and method of locomotion. From squirrels to lions, they differ in what they eat and how they get.

A species of zebra mouse, Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

For more about mammals, see the previous posts “Happy Mother’s Day” (about mothers and nursing their young), “Big cats and the endless plains of the Serengeti,” “Abirthday with gorillas,” and “Monkeying around.” Look forward to “Run like an antelope,” an upcoming post about the many antelope of East Africa. 

A species of fruit bats, in trees on the shore of Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) in Tarangire National Park,

Black-necked rock hyrax (Procavia johnstoni) in Serengeti National
Park, Tanzania

Brindled gnu (blue wildebeest) (Connochaetes taurinus) (left) and
golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Ngorongoro Conservation Area,

Boehm's squirrel (Paraxerus boehmi) in Mabira Forest Reserve, Uganda

A young African lion (Panthera leo) in Ngorongoro Conservation
Area, Tanzania

Works Consulted
Wund, M. and P. Myers. 2005. "Mammalia" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed October 26, 2011


  1. This is an AMAZING post - Wow! Roar! Love the pics!

  2. The posted pictures are simply awesome.It brings me to Rwanda Safari. I am in pleasure.Thanks for the post.

  3. Would you add your bat photo as a citizen-science observation to the AfriBats project on iNaturalist?:

    AfriBats will use your observations to better understand bat distributions and help protect bats in Africa.

    Please locate your picture on the map as precisely as possible to maximise the scientific value of your records.

    Many thanks!

    PS: these are straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum)