Spotted-Necked Otter


The Spotted-Necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis) is an African otter. It is found in freshwater lakes across Africa, particularly Lake Victoria.

The Spotted-Necked Otter has chocolate brown to reddish brown fur, with white spots on its chest, neck, and throat. It has a short nose, round ears, and a nose pad (like a dog). It has short legs with webbed feet for swimming, but also walks on land. This is called semi-aquatic. Their long, slender body is also streamlined for swimming.

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Barbary Sheep

The Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia) is a species of goat-antelope, called a caprid. It lives in the mountains of North Africa in countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Sudan, and Morocco.

Barbary Sheep are light-brown with a slightly lighter underbelly and a darker line across the back. As the sheep ages, its colour becomes darker. Its legs are reddish-brown or grey-brown. It has shaggy hair on its throat. Their smooth horns curve outward, backward, and then inward.

They are ungulates because they have hooves. They are very agile and can climb rocky hills. They can also jump.

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Cape Bushbuck

The Cape Bushbuck (Tragelaphus sylvaticus), found in rainforests and woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa, is also called the imbabala.

The Cape Bushbuck varies in colour and striping. It can be brown, light-brown, red-brown, olive, and nearly black, and it can have up to seven white horizontal stripes or broken stripes that look like spots in a row or no stripes. It has a white nose. Males have spiral or twisted horns.

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Pelage and Pelt

 Pelage is the collective term for hair, fur, wool or other soft covering of a mammal. It is the complete coat.

Pelt is the skin of an animal, with the hair or wool or fur still attached, which has been processed into leather.

Ring-Tailed Lemur

The Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) is only found of the southwestern side of the island of Madagascar, off the coast of continental Africa.

The Ring-Tailed Lemur has a long narrow face with a protruded black nose. Its fur is called pelage. The pelage is grey or brown, with a white or cream face and underbelly. Its orange-brown eyes are masked with black triangular patches.

It has leathery hands and feet that help it climb in trees and along the ground. It spends a third of the time on the ground. Its fingers are slender, padded, and semi-dexterous with flat, human-like toenails. The thumb is not opposable (like the opposable thumbs of humans) because the ball of the joint is fixed in place.

It is a primate mammal with a long, black and white ringed tail of 12-13 white rings and 13-14 black rings. The tail always ends with a black tip. The Ring-Tailed Lemur’s tail is longer than its body. It is 39-46 centimetres (15-18 inches) long and its tail is 56-63 centimetres (22-25 inches) long.

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South American Coatimundi

The South American Coatimundi (Nasua nasua), generally called the Coati or Ring-Tailed Coati, is a member of the raccoon family.

The South American Coatimundi has variable coloured fur, but mostly brown-grey or black. It has dark rings on its tail that can be quite pronounced or faintly-coloured. It has a long snout, with sharp canine teeth, small ears, dark feet, bear-like paws, and long, sharp non-retractable claws.

Its snout (nose) is slightly upturned with an acute sense of smell. It is extremely flexible, able to rotate up to 60° in any direction.

It is double-jointed and their ankles can rotate beyond 180° so that they are able to descend trees head first.

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Eastern Grey Squirrel

The Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is a tree squirrel native to North America and Europe. It is considered to be an invasive species in Great Britain where it has displaced the red squirrel.

The Eastern Grey Squirrel has grey-brown fur with white fur on its underbelly. It has a large bushy tail. It has four toes on its front feet and five toes on its back (hind) feet.

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Sheep can recognize faces – of owners and celebrities

A recent British study shows that sheep have a highly developed ability to recognize the faces of celebrities.

Although it has long been known that sheep are able to recognize the faces of their human owners and handlers, scientists have now shown that sheep can be trained to recognize images of famous people.

Professor Jenny Morton, the lead scientist in the Cambridge University study, said that the study showed that sheep have face-recognition abilities comparable with those of humans or monkeys.

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Central African Warthog

The Central African Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus) is a wild pig found in grassland, savanna, and woodland in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Central African Warthog is heavy-set, medium-sized black or brown hog, ranging from 1.0-1.5 metres (3-5 feet) long, with a mane of hair along its spine. The rest of the body has minimal hair.

It has two pairs of upward-curving tusks protruding from the mouth. One pair of tusks is the upper pair, and the second pair of tusks is the lower pair, which is shorter than the upper pair. The tusks, made of ivory, are used for digging, courtship, and fighting.

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The Domestic Yak (Bos grunniens) and the Wild Yak (Bos mutus) are large, long-haired bovids, similar to cattle and bison. The Yak is found in the Himalayas, Mongolia, and Russia. Bos grunniens means grunting ox, and Bos mutus means mute (silent) ox.

The Yak is an ungulate because it has a cloven hoof, like cows. It looks like a hairy cow. Their shaggy hair keeps them warm, because they live in cold climates.

Wild Yaks are black or dark brown, whereas domestic Yaks can be rust-brown, grey, and cream. The Yak has small ears and a wide forehead, with smooth dark-coloured horns. It has a short neck with humped shoulders.

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Common Beisa Oryx

The Beisa Oryx (Oryx gazella beisa) is also called the East African Oryx, a large species of antelope from East Africa.

The Beisa Oryx has grey fur with a white underbelly, separated by a black stripe. It also has black stripes around the neck, along the nose, from the eye to the mouth, and on the forehead.

It has a small, chestnut mane. Its horns are ringed, thin, and straight, measuring 75-80 centimetres (30-31 inches) long.

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Crested Porcupine

The Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is a rodent mammal found in Italy, Asia, and Africa.

The Crested Porcupine is black or dark brown, and covered with quills that lie flat along the body, and can be raised like a crest or fan. Its eyes and ears are small, and its nostrils are large. It has four toes on it front feet and five toes on its back feet. It has one incisor tooth, one premolar tooth, and three molars.

It is best recognized by its quills. The quills are about 35 centimetres (14 inches) long with light markings. The quills are not firmly attached, so they can easily come out. When these quills are vibrated, they produce a hiss-like rattle.

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Uganda Kob

The Uganda Kob (Kobus kob thomasi) is a subspecies of the kob, which is an antelope. It is found in Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia.

The Uganda Kob has soft reddish-orange fur with a white underbelly, throat, and facial patches. It is a strong antelope with a muscular neck. It has black markings on its legs. It can grow to 100-114 centimetres (40-45 inches) tall.

Only males have horns, which are twisted from the forehead. The horns can be 40-70 centimetres (16-27 inches) long.

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The Serval (Leptailurus serval) is a slender, medium-sized wild cat found in southern Africa, similar to a cheetah but much smaller. The Serval can grow to 54–62 centimetres (21–24 inches) tall.

The Serval has golden-yellow fur that has black spots and black stripes. It has a small head, large ears, elongated toes, and a short 30 centimetre (12 inch) long black-tipped tail. It has brown or green eyes, white whiskers, white chin, and white under-belly. Three to four black stripes run from the back of the head onto the shoulders, which become rows of spots.

The Serval has the longest legs of any cat, in comparison with its body size. This may be to allow the Serval cat to walk above muddy ground. Like a domestic cat, it is very flexible and can change direction in mid-air as it leaps.

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The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is an African long-necked gazelle from the antelope family, which is also called Waller’s Gazelle.

Gerenuk means giraffe-necked in Somali. Its neck is not as long as a giraffe’s neck but it is longer than a gazelle’s neck. Its neck is about 60-70 centimetres (23-28 inches) long. It also has very thin legs.

The Gerenuk is 80-105 centimetres (31-41 inches) tall with glossy two-tone fur in buff and reddish colours. Its tail, throat, chin, eye rings, and lips are white. Its head is long and narrow with very large ears.

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