Animals of the Migration

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Animals of the Migration

The Predators

While the wildebeest are joined on their migration by a variety of other herbivores, they are not joined by pursuing predators. Instead, the path of the migration leads the migrants through the hunting territories of many of East Africa's fiercest carnivores.

Lion -  Lions are the undisputed masters of the East African menagerie with a powerful hold on the imaginations of cultures worldwide. They are familiar symbols of courage, strength and nobility. Their scientific name is Panthera leo.

Leopard -  The smallest of the big cats, the nocturnal leopard is seldom seen and seldom heard. They are savvy hunters and excellent climbers. Their scientific name is Panthera pardus. The average height is 18-31 inches. They weigh is at  60-130 pounds for a female and 75-200 pounds for a male.

Cheetah - The cheetah is the world's fastest land animal, capable of sprints up to 70 miles per hour. With its small head, sleek neck, powerful chest, and long, lithe spine, the cheetah is clearly built for the chase. Their scientific name is Acinonyx jubatus. They can get up to 35 inches in height and between 45 to 53 inches long. An adult weighs is between 88-140 pounds

Spotted Hyena -  The hyena, despite its hideous appearance and reputation for cowardice and avarice, might be the most successful large carnivore in Africa. The scientific name is Crocuta crocuta. The average height is 26-36 inches. They weigh between 100-140 for a female and 90-120 pounds for a male.

Nile Crocodile - Nile crocodiles play the villains in the migration's most dramatic scenes as wildebeest, gazelles, and zebras attempt to cross rivers teeming with crocs lying in wait. Their scientific name is Crocodylus niloticus. The average length is 10-12 feet (some long-lived males reach 20 feet). They can weigh as much as 2200 pounds. Nile crocodile live freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers.

The Prey

The million or so wandering wildebeest make up the majority of the migrating animals, but they are joined by as many as 200,000 zebras while several hundred thousand more gazelles and antelope congregate with them.

The wildebeest (plural wildebeest, wildebeests or wildebai) also called the gnu (play /ˈnuː/ noo[1] or /ˈnjuː/ new) is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. It is a hooved (ungulate) mammal. Wildebeest is Dutch for "wild beast" or "wild cattle" in Afrikaans (beest = cattle), while Connochaetes derives from the Greek words konnos ("beard") and khaite ("flowing hair").[ The name "gnu" originates from the Khoikhoi name for these animals, "gnou". Their scientific name is Connochaetes taurinus. Their average height is 45-57 inches. The average with for a female is 300 to 575 pounds and 360 to 640 pounds for a male Wildbeest.

Burchelli's Zebra ( Plains or Common Zebra) The scientific name is Equus burchellii. Their average height is 50-55 inches. Adult Zebra weigh is at 385-550 pounds for a female and 485-710 pounds for a male. The live is grasslands and savanna and wooded grasslands.

Thomson's Gazelles is scientifically known as Eudorcas thomsonii. They have a height of 21-26 inches. They weigh in at 30-40 pounds for a female and 35-60 pounds for a male. They live in dry grasslands and savanna and wooded grasslands.

Grant's Gazelles average 30-33 inches tall and weigh 84-170 pounds. They live in grasslands and savanna, woodlands, semi-arid subdesert throughout East Africa.