We often hear about the Big Five, some of the continent’s most majestic wild animals – the elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo. People spend a fortune traveling out to nature reserves and game farms to see these incredible animals in all their beauty.
However, less energy is spent on viewing and learning about the Small Five – a group of African animals often overshadowed by their large counterparts. However, they’re just as important and interesting as the Big Five, and they deserve just as much attention. They’re small but they’re fierce and their size certainly doesn’t hold them back in the wild.
We’re going to give you the lowdown on which animals are included in the Small Five and as well as a little bit about them.
The Elephant Shrew
Also known as the sengi, the elephant shrew is a small, insect-eating mammal that is found throughout Africa. They’re known for their unusually long, thing noses and agile movements.
Despite their name, elephant shrews are not closely related to elephants or shrews. Rather, they belong to a group of animals known as Afrotheria and their name is just a creative title based on their appearance.
The next animal on the list is the buffalo weaver, a type of bird found in the savannas and grasslands of Africa. These grasslands are also a great place to visit and to spend some time relaxing and enjoying New Zealand online gambling on your phone while in the wild. Buffalo weavers are known for the distinctive black and white plumage and their ability to build large, complex nests out of grass and twigs. These nests are used for breeding and can often be found in the branches of trees or on power lines.
Third in line is the leopard tortoise, a large tortoise found in a variety of habitats throughout Africa. These tortoises are known for their beautiful, patterned shells and their ability to move quickly over rough terrain.
Leopard tortoises are also popular pets due to their calm demeanour and ease of care. An unusual choice of companion, but loyal and calm.
One of the smallest of the Small Five, the ant lion is found in sandy areas throughout Africa. They’re known for their unique larval stage, during which they dig conical pits in the sand and wait for other insects to fall in. Pretty impressive, right?
Once an insect falls into the pit, the ant lion larva jumps out and grabs it with its powerful mandibles. So it may be an insect, but there’s a reason it borrows the second half of its name from of the most fierce animals in the world!
Last but not least, the rhinoceros beetle is a large, stout-bodied beetle found in a variety of habitats throughout Africa. They’re known for their impressive size and strength, and they’re able to life objects that are far heavier than their own body weight.
Surprisingly enough, much like the leopard tortoise, rhinoceros beetles are often kept as pets due to their clam and docile nature and their unusual appearance.