Big in Africa: 20 Reasons why African wildlife is awesome

This month, Big in Japan is on vacation in East Africa, and will be bringing you travel news and happenings from around this often misunderstood continent.

African wildlife is awesome.
Here are 20 reasons why:

A single bite from a black mamba, the largest venomous snake on the African continent, has enough toxicity to kill twenty to forty fully-grown men.

A cheetah in pursuit of its prey can reach speeds of nearly 70 miles per hour, and can leap distances of more than 20 feet.

Impalas on the run however can leap 10 feet into the air, and cover distances of 35 feet in a single bound.

Female hyenas boast elongated clitorises that can reach lengths of nearly eight inches – these appendages even have foreskins and scrotum-like fibrous tissue.

Male vervet monkeys develop a turquoise scrotum and scarlet penis once they hit puberty – the brighter the better, at least in the eyes of prospective mates.

Flamingo tongues were considered to be a prized delicacy amongst elite gourmands and nobility in ancient Rome.

Keep reading as this list goes on…

Although male lions are fierce protectors of their territory, female lions are the ones that actually do all the hunting and child-raising.

It’s good to be an alpha male – the chimp at the top of the social ladder gets unbridled sexual access to all of the females around him.

Africa’s largest flying bird is the kori bustard, which can take to the air despite tipping the scales at nearly 40 pounds.

The terrifying reptile that is the Gaboon viper has 5 centimeter-long fangs, the longest of any snake on the planet.

Crocodiles can close their jaws with several tons of pressure per square inch, though their prey usually dies from drowning during the aptly named ”death roll.”

A raptor cruising the thermals can spot a single grasshopper at 300 feet and a prancing hare at more than 1000 feet.

A single ostrich egg can weigh more than 20 pounds, an amazing feat considering that the largest ever recorded nest contained no less than 78 eggs.

Although Hollywood images might have you believe otherwise, gorillas are in fact almost exclusively vegetarian.

It’s a cat eat dog world – hungry leopards have been known to take down a wild dog.

Aardwolves mark their territory by smearing secretions from their anal glands on just about everything they pass.

Anal secretions from the African civet however smell like flowers, and are harvested in Ethiopia for making perfumes.

A pelican’s somewhat disproportional pouch can scoop up more than 3 gallons of water in a single swipe.

An ostrich can kill a lion in a single kick – their inner claws contain razor-sharp 3 inch spines that can disembowel pretty much anything in their path.

And finally…

After doing the dirty deed, elephant penises turn dark green and drag limp on the ground for a few minutes before returning to normal.

** All images are courtesy of the WikiCommons Media Project **