Africa is known for its geographic diversity but many people do know that it is a sanctuary to most amazing and unique wildlife species.
Africa is a home for animals that have evolved in different directions which continue to steal the spotlight because of their elusiveness and funny-looking physiques which always ache for attention.
So here’s a list of Africa’s most bizarre, out of this world animals and where to find them.
10. The Columbus Monkey
These monkeys lives at the canopy of the trees and have no thumbs, an adaptation that helps them move around trees faster.
They are excellent in acrobatics, jumping from one branch to the other, taking incredible leaps as high as 50 ft. (15 m) into the air.
They have lengthy tail, which is longer than their bodies, that helps them keep balance.
The long hair on their back acts as a parachute, slowing them down when they reach a branch.
Black-and-white Columbus monkeys are native to 15 African countries, and live in all types of closed forests – coastal forests, inland, high-country, mountain forests, gallery forests, and rarely come down from trees.
9. The Shoebill
Serious and big-nosed.
That’s the shoe-billed stork, also known as Whale head or simply shoebill.
Its name comes from its huge shoe-shaped beak. This strange bird seems completely out of proportion.
It can grow up to 5 ft. (1.5 m) tall and 4 ft. (1.2 m) long and has massive feet. Not to mention it looks like a living relic from prehistoric times.
8. The Honey Badger
They are primarily carnivorous but, as the name suggests, they are suckers for honey. They find hives by following the tweets of a bird called the honey guide, which is attracted to honey
7. The Bush Viper
This bizarre snake comes in many bright colors, as it adapts to the surroundings to camouflage itself.
With unusually big eyes, head that is larger than its neck and covered in scales, it seems straight from outer space.
Bush vipers prefer regions far from human settlements. Quite venomous, their bite can prove fatal to humans as there is no antivenom.
6. The Aye-Aye
Aye-ayes are the only primates that use echolocation – using sound waves to determine the position of objects in space, like bats).
Another method they use to find food is tapping on trees with their long middle finger and listening for insects moving under the bark. They use the same finger to fish them out.
5. The Dik-Dik
Unlike other antelope species, dik-diks do not live in herds, but in pairs. They mate for life. What’s more, they are water-independent – they take all the water they need from vegetation.
4. The Lowland Streaked Tenrec
The lowland streaked tenrec is the only mammal known to use stridulation for generating sound – rubbing together different body parts like insects and snakes do.
They do it by rubbing their spikes on their back, producing an insect-like chirping noise to communicate with their family members. Another means of communication is by clicking their tongue.
3. The Okapi
Okapis communicate through 14-hertz infrasonic sounds, a great adaptation to the dense forests of the Congo.
Even better, humans cannot hear their calls. On the brink of extinction and a cultural symbol in these parts, okapis prefer solitude.
2. The Aardvark
Their 12 in (30 cm) long tongue can slurp 100 ants at a time, and they can eat 50,000 termites in one sitting!
Their sharp claws are as strong as a pick ax. And here’s one more incredible fact: they’re the only animal in their order.
That’s right, there’s really no other animal like it on Earth. It gets even stranger: their closest relatives are elephants!
1. The Pangolin
The pangolin’s large keratin scales make 20% of its body weight. It’s the only known animal on Earth to possess such a feature.
Plus, it has a huge tongue – 16 in (40 cm) long.
When fully extended, it is longer than their body! Pangolins eat ants and termites, but they don’t have any teeth! They do have a strong stomach, though, digesting food with the help of ingested sand and gravel.