The Secret Seven who are all rare animals that enjoy their privacy
But what makes them special is that they are considered the most difficult game animals to find
They are all one of the top sightings when you are out on a game drive even if you want to see the Big 5 these seven animals are very special animals to see ...
Aardvark: Aardvarks live throughout Africa, south of the Sahara. Their name comes from South Africa's Afrikaans language and means “earth pig.” A glimpse of the aardvark's body and long snout brings the pig to mind. On closer inspection, the aardvark appears to include other animal features as well. It boasts rabbitlike ears and a kangaroo tail — yet the aardvark is related to none of these animals.
Aardvarks are nocturnal. They spend the hot African afternoon holed up in cool underground burrows dug with their powerful feet and claws that resemble small spades. After sunset, aardvarks put those claws to good use in acquiring their favorite food — termites.
African wild cat
African wildcat, also called Egyptian wildcat, small, tabbylike cat found in open and forested regions of Africa and Asia. Likely the first cat to be domesticated, the African wildcat is somewhat larger and stockier than the modern house cat, with which it interbreeds readily.
Its coat, paler in the female, is light or orange-brown with narrow dark stripes. The length of the animal is about 70 cm (28 inches), excluding the 40-cm tail; shoulder height averages 23 cm (9 inches), and the cat weighs about 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds). The African wildcat is a solitary nocturnal hunter that preys mainly on birds and small mammals. Mating generally occurs early in the year, and a litter of two to five kittens is born about 56 days later.
African civets fall under the Viverridae family and are closely related to cats, although they are not true cats. They are considered to be carnivores in the Order Carnivora, although the African civet tends to be more omnivorous, feeding on a wide range of things including fruit, roots, shoots, many invertebrates and smaller vertebrates (usually up to the size of scrub hares or large birds, which they bite and shake vigorously to kill them).
They are able to digest things that are poisonous to most other creatures, including fruit from the Strychnos family and even millipedes (shongololos). Their distinctive middens or toilet sites often contain the shells of millipedes and they tend to mark their territories regularly, pasting and spraying at specific sites.
Large spotted genet
Genets are slender cat-like animals with a long body, large ears, a pointed muzzle and partly retractile claws. Their fur is spotted and they have dark bands around the tail. They usually have a dark line along the back. Small-spotted genets can attain a mass of up to two and a half kilograms and large-spotted genets can weigh up to three kilograms.
Genets are solitary (unless with kittens or when mating), nocturnal animals that are most active during the first few hours after sunset and before sunrise. During the day they usually rest and den in holes in trees, thick bushes and dense vegetation. They are highly agile animals and have quick reflexes and exceptional climbing skills (they are often seen climbing in trees, looking for prey such as sleeping birds). They feed on a wide range of things including birds, rodents, reptiles, insects and other invertebrates and are also known to eat fruit.
The shy, harmless pangolin is becoming increasingly well known for one reason: It’s believed to be the world’s most trafficked non-human mammal. Tens of thousands of pangolins are poached every year, killed for their scales for use in traditional Chinese medicine and for their meat, a delicacy among some ultra-wealthy in China and Vietnam.
Its scales are actually made up of keratin, which accounts for about 20 percent of its weight. It has a small head and a long, broad tail. It has no external ears, but its hearing is quite good. It also has no teeth and instead possesses a gizzard-like stomach that is specially adapted for grinding food. To assist the grinding, this scaly creature consumes small stones and sand.
Pangolins are solitary and active mostly at night. Most live on the ground, but some, like the black-bellied pangolin, also climb trees. They range in size from a large housecat to more than four feet long. They are largely covered in scales made of keratin — the same material as human fingernails — which gives them the nickname "scaly anteater." When threatened, they roll into ball, like an armadillo, and they can release a stinky fluid from a gland at the base of their tails as a defense mechanism. Like anteaters, pangolins have long snouts and even longer tongues, which they use to lap up ants and termites they excavate from mounds with their powerful front claws. They’re able to close their noses and ears to keep ants out when they’re eating. Though they look and act a lot like anteaters and armadillos, pangolins are more closely related to bears, cats, and dogs.
Pangolins walk like T-Rex.
The porcupine is the prickliest of rodents, though its Latin name means “quill pig.” There are more than two dozen porcupine species, and all boast a coat of needle-like quills to give predators a sharp reminder that this animal is no easy meal. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long.
Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched. Many animals come away from a porcupine encounter with quills protruding from their own snouts or bodies. Quills have sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs that make them difficult to remove once they are stuck in another animal's skin. Porcupines grow new quills to replace the ones they lose.
The serval, Leptailarus Serval, is a mid-size wild cat, the tallest of the small cats found in Africa. This carnivorous mammal has several nicknames, including Tierboskat, (Afrikaans), meaning “tiger-forest-cat”, bush cat, and giraffe cat. A highly secretive creature, the serval is found in all kinds of African savannah south of the Sahara (except for the central equatorial region and the very southern part of the continent), preferring areas with tall grass and plenty of water. The serval cat has a long neck and legs, a lean body and big ears. It is closely related to the caracal.
Servals are the most successful hunters of all cat species. Whereas lions and leopards are only successful in taking down prey 3 or 4 times in every 10 attempts, these little cats are able to make a kill 50% of the time. They are crepuscular – hunting at dusk, and may also hunt at night. Servals have several adaptions which have allowed them to develop into exceptional hunters. They have extremely large ears which act as antennae, with such acute hearing that they can detect their prey underground. Their long necks allow them to see over tall grass; they can jump 2 -3 metres into the air, and can run at a speed of up to 80km/h.
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