The water buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo is a large bovid (cloven hooved) originating in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China. Today, it is also found in Europe, Australia, South America and some African countries.
Scientific name: Syncerus caffer Mass: 1,300 lb Diet: Herbivorous
Fun Fact: Both male and female buffaloes have heavy, ridged horns that grow straight out from the head or curve downward and then up.
The cheetah is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae that occurs mainly in eastern and southern Africa and a few parts of Iran.
Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus Speed: 68 – 75 mph (In Short Bursts, Running) Mass: 46 – 160 lbs (Adult) Diet: Carnivorous Encyclopedia of Life Height: 2.2 – 3.1 ft. (Adult, At Shoulder)
Fun Fact: The English word "cheetah" comes from Hindi chiitaa, which is perhaps derived from Sanskrit chitraka, meaning "the spotted one".
Crocodiles or true crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Crocodylinae, all of whose members are considered true crocodiles, is classified as a biological subfamily.
Scientific name: Crocodylinae Speed: Saltwater crocodile: 15 – 18 mph, Nile crocodile: 19 – 22 mph, American crocodile: 20 mph Mass: Saltwater crocodile: 880 – 2,200 lbs, Nile crocodile: 500 – 1,200 lbs, American crocodile: 880 – 1,100 lbs Length: Saltwater crocodile: 14 – 17 ft., Nile crocodile: 14 ft., American crocodile: 13 – 16 ft.
Fun Fact: Crocodiles maintain their body temperature by basking when they are cool and seeking shade when they become too hot.
Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order Proboscidea. Three species are recognised, the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant.
Length: Asian elephant: 18 – 21 ft. Tail length: Asian elephant: 3.9 – 4.9 ft. Mass: Asian elephant: 12,000 lbs, African bush elephant: 13,000 lbs, African forest elephant: 6,000 lbs Lifespan: Asian elephant: 48 years, African bush elephant: 60 – 70 years, African forest elephant: 60 – 70 years Height: Asian elephant: 8.9 ft., African bush elephant: 11 ft.
Fun Fact: The word “elephant” comes from the Greek word “elephas” which means “ivory”.
A gazelle is any of many antelope species in the genus Gazella or formerly considered to belong to it. Six species are included in two genera, Eudorcas and Nanger, which were formerly considered subgenera.
Scientific name: Gazella Speed: 60 mph (Maximum, In Short Bursts, Running) Height: 2 – 3.6 ft. (Adult, At Shoulder) Family: Bovidae
Fun Fact: There are 19 different species of gazelle and most live in the hot dry deserts and savannas of Asia and Africa.
The giraffe is a genus of African even-toed ungulate mammals, the tallest living terrestrial animals and the largest ruminants. The genus consists of eleven or more species including Giraffa camelopardalis, the type species.
Scientific name: Giraffa Height: Male: 16 – 20 ft. (Adult), Female: 15 ft. (Adult) Habitats: Savanna, Grassland, Woodland Mass: Male: 2,600 lbs, Female: 1,800 lbs
Fun Fact: In the upper neck, a complex pressure-regulation system called the rete mirabile prevents excess blood flow to the brain when the giraffe lowers its head to drink.
Hyenas or hyaenas are any feliform carnivoran mammals of the family Hyaenidae. With only four extant species, it is the fifth-smallest biological family in the Carnivora, and one of the smallest in the class Mammalia.
Scientific name: Hyaenidae Family: Hyaenidae Mass: Spotted hyena: 98 – 140 lbs, Striped hyena: 49 – 120 lbs, Brown hyena: 89 – 96 lbs Height: Spotted hyena: 2.3 – 3 ft., Striped hyena: 2 – 2.6 ft., Brown hyena: 2.3 – 2.6 ft.
Did you know: Within the hyaenidae family, there are three different species - stripped hyena, brown hyena and spotted hyena.
The ostrich or common ostrich is either one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member of the genus Struthio, which is in the ratite family. In 2014, the Somali ostrich was recognized as a distinct species.
Scientific name: Struthio camelus Speed: 43 mph (Maximum, Adult, Running) Height: Male: 6.9 – 9.2 ft. (Adult), Female: 5.6 – 6.6 ft. (Adult) Mass: Male: 250 lbs (East African race), Female: 220 lbs (East African race)
Fun Fact: In some countries, people race each other on the backs of ostriches.
A rhinoceros, often abbreviated to rhino, is one of any five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae, as well as any of the numerous extinct species.
Scientific name: Rhinocerotidae Mass: White rhinoceros: 5,100 lbs, Black rhinoceros: 1,800 – 3,100 lbs, Indian rhinoceros: 4,600 lbs Lifespan: White rhinoceros: 40 – 50 years, Black rhinoceros: 35 – 50 years
Fun Fact: Rhinos have poor eyesight, which may explain why they will sometimes charge for no reason.
Zebras are several species of African equids united by their distinctive black and white striped coats. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds.
Scientific name: Equus quagga Speed: 65km/h Lifespan: 20 to 30 years Mass: 440 to 990 lbs Height: at the shoulder, 3.5 to 5 ft
Fun Fact: A zebra's stripes act like a fingerprint - each individual’s pattern is unique. Foals recognise their mothers by the pattern of their stripes, as well as by scent and call.