Africa

By kimberley, paige and sabella

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Africa info

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area.[2] With 1.0 billion people (as of 2009, see table), it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagoes. It has 54 fully recognized sovereign states ("countries"), 9 territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition.[3]

Africa's name is derived from an ancient area in modern day Tunisia known as Ifriqiya or sunny place, in Tamazight. Algeria is the largest African country by area, and Nigeria is the largest by population. Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago – including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago.[4] Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.[5]

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About the Cheeta

The cheetah is a large cat (of the Felidae family) that generally has a body length of 1.3m (50 inches) and a tail of 80 cm (33 inches), the length of their tail can also be a good indication of how tall they stand. In ratio to their body size, cheetah's have a small head; one of many attributes that contribute to their unbelieveable speed. Their name, cheetah, comes from a Hindi word which can roughly translate to "spotted animal"; they are nearly covered in spots with the exception of their throat and abdomen. On average they weigh about 50 kilograms (110 pounds), and as with most mammals the male is larger than their female counterpart.

Perhaps the most known fact about cheetahs is their speed, and this fame is very well earned indeed. Their speed may have turned into something of a myth, many report a top speed of around 120kph (75 mph) which could well be the case; more realistic however is around 100 kph (62 mph). Whatever the top speed of the fastest cheetah actually is, one thing is certain: they are fast! Their acceleration is equally as impressive as their speed, where they reach top speed in only a few seconds; this gives the cheetah a very useful element of surprise when hunting prey. Reaching such speed comes at a price for the cheetah, it requires huge amounts of energy and in turn drives their body temperatures high just as quickly! Their endurance therefore suffers as they are forced to slow down, giving the prey the advantage. Even at such impressive speeds hunting is not always succesful or easy for the cheetah, most of their prey such as gazelles or impalas are themselves very fast also, and are able to outrun cheetahs by distance with ease. They therefore employ a number of strategies to outsmart their prey; firstly they often hunt together with other cheetahs to increase their chance of success, but most importantly their stealth-lik

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About Lion

These sandy coloured carnivores are amazing African animals. A popular animal, made famous and lessened the previous ferocious reputation by the movie "The Lion King".

They are large animals, the males standing at 1.2m tall, and the females 90cm tall. The male lion weighs a solid 190 kilograms, and the female 130 kilograms. Apart form the size difference, you can tell the difference between male and female lions by manes. Only the male lion has a mane, which can range from sandy brown to almost black in colour.

They hunt together in groups (called a pride), with many lions working cooperatively to bring down one large animal.

The male lions then take what they wish from the hunt. Any cubs get the leftovers. Lions often feed on zebras, wildebeest and can amazingly take down large animals such as giraffes, hippos and even young elephants. At the other extreme, they will also eat mammals the size of mice.