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The animals of the Nile are various, numerous and fascinating. There are mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and insects. Some are unique only to the area while others are found all over the world.  Some are harmless while others are extremely dangerous; even deadly.Mammals such as hippos, lions, zebras, rhinos, giraffes, gazelles and hyenas all drink from the Nile. Hippos, known as the water horse, can be deadly and kill humans and crocodiles when they are threatened. The only time hippos go out of the water is at night when they feed, eating approximately 80 pounds of grass. The hippo is the third largest land animal. Lions have complex social interactions, they live in prides a group of a few males and up to a dozen females. Lions are the second largest cat second only to tigers. The zebra a symbol of Africa. The zebra can weigh up to a 1,000 pounds, that’s half a ton, that can run 35 miles per hour. The reptiles of the Nile are the most numerous in variety. They include the fearsome crocodile, his enemy the monitor lizard, other lizards, snakes and turtles. The crocodile is the largest reptile and it can weigh over 1,600 pounds and grow in length up to 20 feet. The croc can and will eat anything, from small rodents, baby crocodiles and small hippos. The monitor lizard is the biggest lizard that originates from Egypt. The monitor lizard will eat anything that fits in its humongous mouth such as small rodents, crocodile eggs and birds. The monitor lizard does have venom which will eventually kill you. However, its bite would have broken through skin, muscle and bone causing great pain. The egyptian cobra is one of 270 species of cobras. It is one of the largest growing to 8 feet long it has a very large hood, witch is actually just neck flaps. It avoids humans but the neurotoxin kills by causing the heart and lungs to stop working within 20-30 minutes of the bite. The black mamba is the most venomous, able to kill an adult person within 20 minutes.   It’s coloring is brownish gray but it has a jet black mouth. They can grows up to 15 feet long.  It has a long strike distance and strikes in rapid succession. The african soft shelled turtle has very rough leathery skin. It is grey /brown so it can camouflage. They are scavengers of underwater croc kills, insects and worms.The Nile has some of the most fascinating aquatic life. The Nile perch can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds. It lives in the fresh waters of the Nile. the knife fish lives in the fresh waters of the Nile. It is nocturnal feeding on small fish and crustaceans. They are related  to the eel,therefor,have some electrifying qualities. The tiger fish also known as the nile piranha,rarely attacks humans.They have been observed attacking crocs and hippos. they are black and white striped having a large head to hold a mouthful of razor sharp teeth.  The lungfish is interesting but debatable if its a fish because it breathes air and has foot like fin appendages.  The abundant birds of the skies over the Nile are mesmerizing. The sacred ibis are usually found in flocks of 2-20 during the day but at night they gather up to 100-300 birds they live in the marshes and on the shores of the Nile. the ibis are quiet they grunt or croak. They were worshiped as a god in ancient egypt and mummified with the pharaohs. They can live up to 20 years. The egyptian goose is also sacred. They are native to the nile valley. They domesticated by the ancient egyptians and were used for there eggs and meat. They also appeared in egyptian art. The shoe bill also known as the whale head, is so named because its bill looks like a shoe. It is part of the pelican family. There are only about 8,000 left in the wild. There favorite food is the lung fish but they also eat turtles,fish and young crocs. They stand up to 4 feet tallMany insects live around the Nile river. Many of the birds,fish and reptiles eat insects so if they were non-existent many other species would be gone. Flies,dragonflies,water striders,giant water bugs, beetles and roaches but the most deadly is the mosquito. The mosquito carries malaria, yellow fever,West Nile virus and other diseases. Over 700 million people world wide contract mosquito borne illnesses with more than one million dying each year.The Nile river is a very dangerous place from the itty bitty mosquitoes to the giant crocs. It is also a beautiful land full of ancient history and intrigue. Fascinating animals both of ancient time and of today.

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