- Pets and Animals
Animals of the African rainforests
Probably the most well-known animal to call Africa home is the Gorilla. They can be found in forests throughout Central West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Rwandan border. They reside in various elevations, ranging from low lying areas such as lowland swamps up to the highest, most dense parts of the rainforests. They live in groups called troops or bands that typically consists of one male, several females and their young. They are vegetarians, with a wide range of eating habits from one habitat to another. These beautiful creatures are on the Endangered list.
Chimpanzees are primates that inhabit grasslands, woodlands and rainforests. They live in groups called a community and can live an average of 45 years. They incorporate the use of tools to manipulate their environment. They are known to have an extremely varied diet including eggs, meat, insects, fruits and plants. Due to hunting and habitat destruction, Chimpanzees are endangered.
These interesting animals live in the northeast section of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They look like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe, but are actually related to the giraffe. Their home is the Ituri forest in central Africa. They are experts at hiding, so much so that scientists didn't even know they existed until 1900. They exist on leaves, twigs and fruit.
African forest elephant
Because these animals live in such dense forests, hiding in the vegetation, there isn't much known about them. They are much smaller than the elephants known to rule the Savannah. They trample down vegetation, creating paths for other animals or people. As they pull down small trees and branches to eat, they allow sunlight to hit the forest floor.
These are a much smaller species of hippos, making their homes in the lowlands and wet forests of West Africa. They do not spend most of their time in water as do their cousins. They prefer to be alone or in very small groups. They feast on ferns, leaves, stems and roots. Their natural enemies are leopards, crocodiles and pythons.
African grey parrot
.These gorgeous parrots cover a wide range in Africa including western Kenya, northern Angola, Congo and Tanzania. They are very loud and capable of producing a wide range of vocal sounds. They eat fruits, nuts, berries and seeds and make their homes in tree holes. As pets, they are fantastic talkers and are easily trained to do tricks.
Of the more than 135 species of Chameleons living in Africa, half of them reside in Madagascar. They are solitary animals that are skilled in maneuvering in their environment. Chameleons, contrary to popular belief, change colors more to show emotion rather than to blend into their surroundings.
This amphibian can become the size of a dinner plate. It sits partially buried in dirt with only the nose exposed. It eats just about anything small enough to fit into it's mouth, including other frogs. Sadly, it is considered to be a delicacy by natives.
African rainforests are home to many different types of animals. The rainforest is a vast ecosystem that is ideal for many species due to the climate and food sources. Few places on earth contain the variety of animals seen in this region, making it a fascinating area of study for children and adults alike.