FIELD GUIDE Animal Directory

Large Mammals

Many of South Africa’s large mammals are herbivores and for the most part they fall into one of two broad categories: grazers (grass eaters), such as zebras and buffalos, and browsers (leaf eaters), such as giraffes. A few animals, including elephants, fall into both categories, depending on the availability of food.


South Africa’s large mammals are all ungulates, or hoofed mammals. They are split into two main groups: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates), such as giraffe, hippopotamus and African buffalo, and Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates), such as zebra and rhinoceros. Elephants (and other species) without true hooves are “near-ungulates”. ...

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