Tag Archives: Africa

At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, Africa is the world’s second largest and with 1.2 billion people as of 2016, second most-populous continent (behind Asia in both categories). It covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20% of its land area. Its population accounts for about 16% of the world’s human population.

Africa boasts perhaps the world’s largest combination of density and “range of freedom” of wild animal populations and diversity, with wild populations of large carnivores (such as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs) and herbivores (such as buffalo, elephants, camels, and giraffes) ranging freely on primarily open non-private plains. It is also home to a variety of “jungle” animals including snakes and primates and aquatic life such as crocodiles and amphibians. In addition, Africa has the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.

Africa (orthographic projection)
Africa (orthographic projection)

20 Amazing Elephant Facts

Today, August 12, is World Elephant Day. Even though these largest existing land animals are loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, they are actually close to the edge of extinction. The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. So, we urgently need to take action to protect these amazing (and cute!) animals. Here are 20 amazing elephant facts.

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African musicians protest the destruction of the environment with a song titled “Samalilani” (Preserve)

Musicians from Zambia (Africa) protest the destruction of the environment and the wildlife with the song titled “Samalilani” (means “preserve” in English). They also draw attention to climate change and environmental issues facing Zambia, like deforestation and charcoal burning.

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NASA Has Published Statistics About the World’s Sandy Beaches

NASA has published some interesting statistics about the world’s sandy beaches on Earth Observatory webpage. According to the images taken by Landsat satellites Notes 1 (Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 Notes 2, 3), about 31 percent of the world’s coastlines are sandy. Africa has the highest proportion of sandy beaches (66 percent) and Europe has the lowest (22 percent).

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Two new innovations to save children from dying

Thanks to improvements in healthcare and many other areas, people today are living longer, healthier, and happier lives than ever before. And what’s more, these improvements are global. It’s happening in the developing countries as well. Africa, the poorest continent (eighteen of the poorest countries by GDP per capita are in Africa) is also no exception: the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) declined significantly between 1960 and 2001.

For example, in Ethiopia, as late as 1980, almost a quarter of the children died before their fifth birthday. Today, fewer than 6% die, which is still far too many, but the numbers continue to fall. And vaccines play a very crucial part here. But, supplying vaccines to distant clinics in hot climates served by poorly developed transport networks is a big problem. The vaccines must be kept between 2 and 8° C (36 to 46 °F). They need to be distributed in a temperature-controlled supply chain, which is called “cold chain”. Now, there are two new innovations addressing this problem.

One of them is MetaFridge, a cooler which allows them vaccines to stay between 2 and 8° C (36 to 46 °F) for days, even if the power is out.

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The Lost Rainforest of Mount Mabu

One day back in 2005, Dr. Julian Bayliss was sitting at his laptop looking at Google Earth in 2005, to look for potential unknown wildlife hotspots in Africa. He was working an isolated mountain in Malawi, then he noticed that there were similar mountains over the border in Mozambique. There was nothing written about these mountains. As he zoomed in, he saw a dark green patch suddenly emerge, which looked like a rainforest. An expedition was scheduled, and it turned out to be just that: a rainforest, which was unknown to plant and animal scientists. Today, Mount Mabu forest is frequently referred to as the “Google Forest”.

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Endangered animals more likely to get donated if they’re cute, study says

43% of Americans would be more likely to donate to an endangered species if it were cute, according to a study titled “Selective Sympathy: Comparing Sentiment Toward the Appearance of Endangered Species” published by African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). A team at AWF has surveyed 1k Americans on how much they know about wildlife conservation, and how much they’re willing to open their wallets to help endangered animals. Here’s what they found:

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Snow In Sahara, World’s Hottest Desert

On Sunday, January 07, 2018, the residents of Aïn Séfra, a small town in Algeria, experienced a rare phenomenon: snow in Sahara, world’s hottest desert. In the video below, published by the National Geographic, snow dusted the desert’s sandy dunes. With temperatures touching 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 °C), this white blanket stayed briefly through the morning before melting away. However, a few residents found the opportunity to enjoy some winter fun.

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