Some species that inhabit West Africa's coastal waters:
Don't get any on you! Land species that shoot or spit:
Fascinating article: "A New Afrotropical Ogovea (Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi) From Cameroon, With A Discussion On The Taxonomic Characters In The Family Ogoveidae".
The Ogoveids are a family of arachnid that live only in West Africa. They've been collected only three times in history, and each collection was a new species: 1904, 1921, and 2003; they live in the soil, and are very tiny (3-5 mm), and we know nothing about their behavior.
A possibly unknown species of freshwater elephantfish (Mormyridae), a family widespread in West Africa.
These fish use their mouthparts to feed on small invertebrates buried in muddy substrates.
(Click on photo for more info.)
Odontomachus assiniensis species of Trap-Jaw Ant is widespread through Guinea, Ghana and Cameroon. [Photo: Wikipedia]
Photos of Cubitermes termite nests found in Cameroon and farther east in the Congo basin. These nests resemble giant mushrooms.
(Click on photo for more info.)
A close-up look at the little-known Unicorn Chameleon (Chameleo owenii) of West Africa.
From Scientific American blog: "How the Western Black Rhino Went Extinct" [below]:
The Liberian Tree-Hole Crab (Globonautes macropus) is an endangered freshwater crab that lives, strangely enough, in the canopy of the Upper Guinea Forest of West Africa:
A new, much larger variety of chimpanzee was recently discovered in northern Congo in the Bili region. These chimps walk with their back straight and nest on the ground, unlike other chimpanzees. It's claimed they attack and kill large carnivores for food.
This has renewed the debate among scientists about genetic variation among the great apes. It began in the 1860s when explorer Paul Du Chaillu described a hybrid species he called the koola-kamba -- a cross between chimpanzee and gorilla.
More recently, scientific uncertainty was renewed when a performing chimpanzee named Oliver was thought to be too close to human to be a mere chimpanzee. His blood was tested by the University of Chicago in 1996 and found to possess the 24 chromosome pairs of a chimpanzee.
Look at a Bili ape captured on video, along with footage of Oliver and a photo of a mysterious primate photographed at the Yaounde zoo in Cameroon which has the eyes of a gorilla and the body of a chimpanzee.
It would seem the great apes exhibit greater variety than was originally believed. Since they inhabit remote, dense jungles, much remains to be learned. They may hold clues about how humans came to emerge. (By Paris A. Walker)
Below: a video about Oliver, the chimpanzee who seemed human.
Should chimpanzees have the same rights as humans? A New York court will decide:
Read an excellent article by Glenn Scherer about trafficking of ape parts in Cameroon:
In Cameroon a gorilla appeared in a photo that won Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the US. This gorilla was rescued by our contributor, Ape Action Africa! [See Contributors page.]
Warning: the eight-inch (20 cm) long polydesmid millipede of West Africa can exude hydrogen cyanide from pores along its body.
How could we not also mention the giant African centipede? This one was photographed crossing a path near Kindia, Guinea. It's a foot long (30.4 cm).