Tag Archive: Africa


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cyprinodontiformes (Rivulines, killifishes and live bearers)
Family: Nothobranchiidae (African rivulines)

Genus/species: Fundulopanchax sjostedti

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Brightly colored killifish.

Blue Gularis Killifish20750345676_f4b54fecfe_z

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Africa: Niger delta in southern and southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Found in temporary swamps, raphia-swamps and swampy parts of slow flowing brooks in the swampy coastal rainforest.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insect Larvae


REPRODUCTION: Bottom spawner. It lays eggs in the mud which drys out during the dry season. The adults die but the eggs lie dormant and hatch when the rains return.

IUCN Red List: Least Concern (LC)


California Academy of Sciences, Water is life exhibit 2015)

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/9792

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org/details/full/181696/0

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/20589851839/in/dateposted/

WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1zH

Color of Life note: The blackish-grey top surface of the African Penguin camouflages it from predators above it and the mostly white underside does the same for predators below it.

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves (birds)
Order: Sphenisciformes (Penguins )
Family: Spheniscidae

Genus/species: Spheniscus demersus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Like most birds with shared parental duties, sexes are similar in appearance. Adults: upper parts blackish-grey, underparts mostly white with inverted black horseshoe extending down flank to thigh. Feet and legs black. Chicks arrive with secondary down feathers. Juveniles are grey blue and immatures gradually come to resemble adults in approx. 3 years..
Length up to To 70 cm (28 inches) tall.
Weight up to 3.5 kg (7.7 lb)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found off the Coasts of South Africa and
Namibia. Nests in colonies mainly on offshore islands. Rarely encountered more than 8 km from islands or mainland.4545404530_496c8cf6b1_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Piscivorous. They feed primarily on shoaling fishes such as anchovies, mackerel and herring. They can reach a top speed of close to 20 km/h (12 mph). On the west coast a typical foraging trip could range from 30 to 70 km (18-44 miles) for a single trip. On the south coast, foraging birds cover an average of 110 km (68 miles) per trip.

Academy diet: Vitamin fortified herring, and capelin.


REPRODUCTION: S. demersus are monogamous colonial nesters. They dig nesting burrows.and lays 2 eggs which are then incubated by both parents for about 40 days. The pair feeds their young for about one month by regurgitating food into the hatchling’s mouth.The average time to independence is 80 days.

LONGEVITY: May live to at least 25 years.

PREDATORS: Seals in the water and mongooses, large-spotted genets and leopards on land. Eggs and chicks are eaten by feral cats, Kelp gulls and Sacred Ibises.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List: Vulnerable (VU) 2010

Threats: Depleted fish stocks, human collection of penguin guano fertilizer, oil pollution and collection of eggs in the past have resulted in a 90 percent drop in the population since 1900.

REMARKS: The alternate common name “jackass” is a reference to its donkey-like vocalization.

California Academy of Sciences penguins
Wing bands identify males females and couples. Males right, females left and couples are the same color.

African penguins are finding a strong ally in the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences and 53 other zoos and scientific institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The captive population acts as a reservoir for genetic diversity, and could eventually be used to bolster wild penguin populations.
See the Academy web site below for more information and a 24 hour web cam.


Penguins constantly work to keep their feathers clean, well-oiled, and waterproofed. They preen their feathers by nipping at an oil glad at the base of their tail to express oil which transferred to their beaks and then to their body feathers.


Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4569783089/in/album-72157623916364716/

California Academy of Sciences  www.calacademy.org/explore-science/common-penguin-behaviors

California Academy of Sciences www.calacademy.org/explore-science/live-penguin-cams

BirdLife International www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=3861

ARKive  www.arkive.org/african-penguin/spheniscus-demersus/

Animal Diversity Web  animaldiversity.org/accounts/Spheniscus_demersus/

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/22697810/0

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1xH


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura (frogs)
Family: Hyperoliidae (sedge and bush frogs)

Genus/species: Hyperolius riggenbachi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Phase J (juveniles and many mature males) are green with light canthal and dorsolateral stripes. Phase F (mature females and some mature males) have a vermiculated pattern in yellow, red and black. Toes and fingers red. Pupils are horizontal and toes and fingers are red.
Males length up to 27–30 mm (1-1.2 inches), females larger up to 40 mm (1.6 inches).

female and some malesRiggenbach's reed frog18517011003_c5ff421b61_h

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Highlands of Eastern Nigeria and Central Cameroon. Found in wetlands and small wooded watercourses in montane grassland.

maleRiggenbach's reed frog19111242432_cdd15294a9_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Small invertebrates.

REPRODUCTION: H. riggenbachi breeds in still water near streams.

 egg mass belowRiggenbach's reed frog18691210596_603d27a367_o


tadpoles below

Riggenbach's reed frog19111466876_92958680e5_o

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Vulnerable (VU) 2014
Threatened by habitat loss caused by agricultural activities, wood collection, and human settlement.


David C. Blackburn PhD Associate Curator Herpetology California Academy of Sciences. personal communication 2015

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org/details/56198/0

ARKive  www.arkive.org/riggenbachs-reed-frog/hyperolius-riggenbachi/

Amphibiaweb.org  www.amphibiaweb.org/cgi-bin/amphib_query?where-genus=Hype…

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/19141066501/in/album-72157652559028013/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1xy


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