THE LITTLE FIVE
THE LESS INTIMIDATING BIG FIVE
You’ve probably heard of the Big Five – lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, and leopard – but you might not have heard of this group’s little brother – the Little Five. Comprised of smaller animals that share names with the Big Five, meet the Little Five – the less intimidating Big Five.
The Leopard Tortoise
You can see where this one gets its name from. Exquisite spots and patterns on its shell make it fairly easy to spot and lovely to look at. They have an incredible life span of up to 75 years, and remarkably, the sex of the tortoise hatchling is solely determined by the temperature at which the egg is incubated. Eggs incubated between a temperature range of 26-31°C will be male, and 31-34°C will be female.
The Rhino Beetle
Proportionately, rhinoceros beetles are the strongest animals on the planet. They can lift up to 850 times their own weight. To put this into perspective, if a human of average height and weight had the strength of the rhinoceros beetle, it would be able to lift a 65-ton object. They can also fly, so anyone with a fear of bugs might want to steer clear.
The antlion although small, packs quite the punch. Of the 2000 species discovered, many feed on anthropoids (such as smaller ants) by digging a hole in the ground and eating unsuspecting ants that fall in and can’t escape.
The Elephant Shrew
By far the cutest of the bunch, the elephant shrew gets its name from its rather long and flexible nose, similar to an elephant’s trunk. Despite being only 25cm in length, it can jump an impressive 1 metre / 3 feet in the air. Amazingly, they have the same partner for life, living in pairs and occupying a small territory.
The Buffalo Weaver
These eye-catching birds live in groups and breed in colonies. The buffalo part of its name derives from its habit of following the African buffalo, feeding on insects that are prone to annoying the buffalo. They are approximately 25cm in length and weigh about 60-70g.