OK, so I can’t be the only one who had no clue that there were penguins in Africa. When I think of Africa I think of the big guys—elephants, giraffes, gorillas, buffalo, lions. Yet there is much more to Africa: the smaller species, those that dwell on the fringes and in the under-story,and animals and plants that thrive in unlikely conditions. Well thank God for the San Diego Zoo because this summer they are schooling us all on the beautiful variety of animals that preside in Africa in their new Africa Rocks Exhibit.
Here is a tiny breakdown of all 6 exhibits and what you can expect.
This rugged mountain habitat is made up of craggy, granite peaks and plateaus. The unique species adapted to this environment include Hamadryas baboons, geladas, and Nubian ibex.
The fynbos along South Africa’s rocky coastline sets the stage for unusual species, including the weird and beautiful protea plants, small sharks that swim among the reefs, and the adorable, warm-weather African penguins.
These boulder-strewn islands in grassland savanna are home for a variety of animals that live their lives among the rocks, including meerkats, hyraxes, and klipspringer antelope.
This open woodland habitat features shrubs and grasses among thorn-bearing acacia trees. Leopards prowl here, vervet monkeys chatter in large family groups, and a colorful bevy of birds flit and nest among the branches in a huge walk-through aviary.
Madagascar’s forests are among the world’s most distinctive, with dramatic limestone formations and spiny dry forest plants. This is home to species found nowhere else on Earth, including the extraordinary tree-leaping lemurs.
The dense, tropical forests of western Africa get up to 80 inches of rain each year, creating waterfalls, streams, and pools for fish and the dwarf crocodiles that eat them.
If you’re still not convinced check out this video that shows exactly what you can expect.
Ushering you into each habitat is an impressive rock formation, which represents geology in that region—from the craggy granite outcroppings of the kopje, to the jagged, layered tsingy rocks of Madagascar, to the smooth, wave-worn boulders of the South Africa coastline. These provide a description of the habitat, plus sculptures of a key animal and plant found there.
I urge all of my readers to get to the San Diego zoo ASAP! Whether you have kids or are just interested in learning more about these beautiful creatures this exhibit is one you shouldn’t miss.
So besides visiting the zoo, what is on your list of things to do this summer? I’d love to know in the comments below!