Hall of African Wildlife

family in africaThe Hall of African Wildlife explores four of the African continent's major life zones—savanna, rainforest, mountain, and desert—and the unique animals that live there.

A realistic diorama transports you to a water hole where a reticulated giraffe, two species of zebra, African buffalo, wildebeest, and warthog, among others, have gathered. In the shadow of a Baobab tree, gerenuks stand on their hind legs nibbling leaves while termites build their impressive mounds.

A lowland gorilla emerges from lush tropical foliage and vines. A pair of zebra duikers forages in the undergrowth. And a predatory Gaboon Viper's hunting is disrupted as it is mobbed by understory birds. The desert biome introduces the unique animals of the African desert, highlighting the fennec—a small elusive fox with large eyes and enormous ears. The circle of life in this harsh desert environment is illustrated as the fennec traps a small desert rodent.

Did You Know?

The Savanna makes up half of the African continent and is home to the most diverse and abundant collection of large mammals in the world.

Africa's rainforests lie on the west coast and in the central lowlands, where there is annual rainfall of over 63 inches.  However, Africa's desert regions receive less than 12 inches of rain per year. Desert plants and animals have evolved in ways that allow them to preserve water, hoard food, live underground, or send roots deep into the soil. The fennec's thick fur protects it from the night cold, and the hairy soles of its feet protect it from the hot sand.

The Mountain Nyala is a secretive animal that lives in the dense fog and vegetation of the mountains. Because of its elusive nature, this animal was one of the last major mammals to have been discovered, remaining unknown to the scientific community until 1908.

For More Info

Visit the website of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Section of Mammals.