The little Five animals : The “little five” animals are a group of small animals found in the African savannah that are often referred to as the “little brothers” of Africa’s more well-known big five game animals: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros. The little five animals include:
A small, insect-eating mammal with a long snout, resembling a miniature elephant trunk. The elephant shrew, also known as sengi, is a small insectivorous mammal native to Africa. Despite its name, it is not closely related to shrews, but is instead part of a separate group of mammals called Afrotheria. There are around 20 species of elephant shrew, which vary in size and coloration, but generally have long snouts, slender legs, and long tails. They are active during the day, feeding on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. Elephant shrews are known for their agility and speed, and are able to hop and dart through vegetation with great ease. They are generally solitary animals, but may form pairs or small family groups during the breeding season. Despite being widespread and common in many parts of Africa, some species of elephant shrew are threatened by habitat loss and other factors.
A small insect with large, fearsome-looking jaws that it uses to catch prey. Antlions are a group of insects that belong to the family Myrmeleontidae. They are commonly found in sandy or dry habitats, and are known for their unique predatory behavior.
Antlions are most recognizable in their larval stage, which is characterized by a large, oval-shaped body with strong mandibles and a tapered, conical head. The larva burrows into sand or loose soil, and creates a pitfall trap by carving a conical pit in the sand. The larva waits at the bottom of the pit with its jaws open, ready to ambush any prey that falls in.
When an ant or other small insect falls into the pit, the antlion flicks sand at it, causing it to slide down to the bottom of the pit where the antlion quickly grabs it with its strong jaws. The antlion then sucks the body fluids out of the prey, leaving behind only the exoskeleton.
In their adult stage, antlions look like a cross between a dragonfly and a damselfly. They have long, slender bodies, two pairs of wings, and large compound eyes. However, unlike their larvae, adult antlions do not feed on other insects and instead live off nectar and pollen from flowers.
Antlions are found in many parts of the world, including North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. They play an important role in their ecosystems as predators, controlling populations of small insects.
A type of beetle with a distinctive horn on its head, resembling a miniature rhinoceros. The Rhinoceros beetle, also known as the Hercules beetle, is a type of beetle belonging to the family Scarabaeidae. There are over 300 species of rhinoceros beetles, and they are found in many parts of the world, including the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
These beetles are known for their impressive size, with some species growing up to six inches long. They have a distinctive horn-like structure on their head, which varies in size and shape between species and between males and females. In some species, the males have much larger horns than the females.
Rhinoceros beetles are herbivores and feed primarily on sap, fruit, and other plant materials. They play an important role in their ecosystems by helping to break down and recycle organic matter.
These beetles are also popular among insect collectors and are sometimes kept as pets. They are admired for their unique appearance and impressive strength, which allows them to lift objects many times their own weight.
The Rhinoceros beetle is a fascinating and important species that plays an important role in many ecosystems.
4.The little Five animals : Buffalo weaver
A small bird that builds large communal nests resembling those of the African buffalo. The buffalo weaver is a species of bird found in Africa. There are two species of buffalo weavers: the red-billed buffalo weaver and the white-headed buffalo weaver.
The red-billed buffalo weaver is a brownish-black bird with a bright red bill. It is found in the savannah and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. They are social birds and live in large colonies, building communal nests made of grass and twigs.
The white-headed buffalo weaver is a similar bird, but with a white head and a black body. It is found in the same regions as the red-billed buffalo weaver and also lives in colonies. Both species of buffalo weavers are known for their distinctive communal nests, which can be quite large and elaborate.
Buffalo weavers are omnivorous and feed on a variety of insects, seeds, and fruit. They are known for their adaptability and can thrive in a range of environments, from semi-arid regions to more humid areas. While they are not considered threatened, habitat loss and fragmentation pose a potential threat to their populations in certain areas.
5.The little Five animals : Leopard tortoise
A slow-moving tortoise with a patterned shell, resembling the spots of a leopard. The leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) is a species of tortoise native to the savannah of eastern and southern Africa. It is the fourth largest species of tortoise in the world, with adult males reaching lengths of up to 18 inches (45 cm) and weighing up to 88 pounds (40 kg).
Leopard tortoises are known for their striking and unique shell patterns, which resemble the spots of a leopard. Their shells are also quite flat and elongated, which helps them to navigate through their grassland habitats. They are herbivores, and their diet primarily consists of grasses, weeds, and other vegetation.
These tortoises are popular pets due to their friendly and sociable nature, although they do require a large and spacious enclosure to thrive. They can live for several decades in captivity if provided with proper care, including a balanced diet, regular access to clean water, and a suitable environment with plenty of space to roam and bask in the sun.
While these animals may not be as well-known as the big five, they are still an important part of the African ecosystem and are fascinating to observe and learn about.