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Antelopes and gazelles are two groups of elegant and graceful herbivorous mammals found in different parts of the world. They belong to the family Bovidae, which includes other well-known animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats. These animals have adapted to various environments and have developed unique physical characteristics such as long legs, curved horns, and keen senses of hearing and vision to survive in their habitats. Some species of antelopes and gazelles are capable of running at high speeds, leaping great distances, and maneuvering quickly to evade predators. Here are ten different species of antelopes and gazelles;
Sitatunga is a semi-aquatic antelope found in the marshy areas of central Africa. They are known for their excellent swimming abilities and their ability to stand submerged in water for long periods to avoid predators. Sitatunga has shaggy, reddish-brown fur that helps them blend in with their surroundings. Both males and females have long, slender, and curved horns. Sitatunga feed on aquatic vegetation, grasses, and leaves. Due to habitat loss and hunting, Sitatunga is classified as a species of least concern, and their populations are declining in many areas.
The eland is the largest species of antelope found in Africa, with a shoulder height of up to 1.8 meters and a weight of up to 900 kilograms. They are characterized by their large, spiral horns, which are present in both males and females. Elands have a distinctive tan or gray coat, and they have a dewlap, which is a flap of skin under their necks that helps them regulate body temperature. They are primarily herbivores, feeding on grasses, leaves, and fruits.
The bongo is a large forest-dwelling antelope found in the rainforests of central and eastern Africa. They are known for their striking chestnut-red coat with white stripes and spots, which provides them with effective camouflage in the dense forest undergrowth. Both males and females have long, curved horns, which they use for self-defense and territorial displays. Bongos are primarily herbivores, feeding on leaves, fruits, and herbs found in the forest understory.
The impala is a medium-sized antelope found in savannas and woodlands throughout southern and eastern Africa. They are known for their exceptional leaping ability, with the ability to jump over 10 meters in a single bound. Impalas have a reddish-brown coat with a distinctive "M" marking on their backs and white underbellies. Only males have long, spiral horns, which they use to defend their territories and for mating displays. Impalas are herbivores and feed on grasses, leaves, and fruits. They are social animals and are often found in large herds, which can number in the hundreds. Impalas are a common prey species for predators such as lions, cheetahs, and hyenas.
The Chinkara, also known as the Indian gazelle, is a small antelope found in the Indian subcontinent. It has a light brown coat with white underparts, and its slender horns can reach up to 30 cm in length. Chinkaras are well adapted to living in dry and arid environments and are known for their incredible speed and agility, capable of running at speeds of up to 80 km/h. They are primarily solitary animals and are known for their graceful movements and shy nature.
6. ROYAL ANTELOPE
The Royal Antelope is one of the smallest antelopes in the world, native to the dense rainforests of West Africa. It is characterized by its reddish-brown coat, short legs, and small size, standing only about 25 cm tall at the shoulder and weighing just 2-3 kg. Despite its small size, the Royal Antelope is known for its incredible speed and agility, able to outrun predators and jump up to 2 meters high. It is a solitary and elusive animal, making it difficult to study and observe in the wild.
The Waterbuck is a large, sturdy antelope found in sub-Saharan Africa, typically near water sources. It has a shaggy brown or gray coat with distinctive white markings on the face and rump, and both male and female Waterbucks have long, curved horns. They are well adapted to living in wet environments and have a waterproof coat, allowing them to spend long periods of time submerged in water. Waterbucks are primarily grazers and are often found in herds, with males forming bachelor groups and females leading family groups. They are known for their strong odor, which is thought to deter predators.
The oribi antelope is a small and graceful African antelope that is found in grassy plains and savannahs throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They have reddish-brown fur with white underbellies and black markings on their legs and faces. Oribi are primarily herbivorous, feeding on grasses and other vegetation, and are known for their swift running and jumping abilities. They are also social animals and often live in small groups or pairs. Oribi populations have declined in recent years due to habitat loss and hunting, and are currently considered a species of conservation concern.
The bushbuck antelope is a medium-sized antelope found in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a distinctive reddish-brown coat, with white spots on the flanks and a white underbelly. Both males and females have twisted, spiral horns that grow up to 40 centimeters in length in males and 20 centimeters in females. They are herbivores, feeding on leaves, shoots, fruits, and flowers, and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, savannas, and riverine areas.
10. SUNI antelope
The suni antelope is a small, shy antelope species found in parts of East and Southern Africa, including Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. They have a reddish-brown coat, with short, smooth hair that is darker on the back and lighter on the underbelly. Both males and females have small, straight horns that grow to be up to 10 centimeters in length.
1. THOMSON’S GAZELLE
Thomson's gazelle is a small, agile antelope found in the grasslands and savannas of eastern Africa. They are known for their distinctive reddish-brown coat, with a white underbelly and black stripe running down their sides. Males have short, curved horns, which they use for territorial displays and fights with other males. Thomson's gazelles are primarily grazers, feeding on grasses and herbs, and they are often found in large herds, which can number in the thousands. They are preyed upon by predators such as cheetahs, lions, and hyenas, and are capable of running at high speeds of up to 80 km/h to evade predators
2. RHIM GAZELLE
The Rhim gazelle is a slender, medium-sized antelope that inhabits arid and semi-arid regions of North Africa. It is characterized by its pale sandy-brown coat, long, thin horns, and distinctive facial markings. They are well adapted to their harsh desert environment, with large, splayed hooves that help them navigate through sand and long, slender legs that allow them to run quickly and gracefully across the landscape.
3. GRANT’S GAZELLE
Grant's gazelle is a medium-sized antelope species found primarily in East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. They have a tan to reddish-brown coat, with a white belly and distinct white patches above their knees. Both males and females have curved horns that can grow up to 80 centimeters in length in males and 30 centimeters in females.
Grant's gazelles are social animals, often forming herds of up to several hundred individuals. They are active during the early morning and late afternoon hours and are herbivores, feeding on a variety of grasses and leaves. They are well adapted to life on the open grasslands and savannas of their range, using their speed and agility to avoid predators like lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs.
4. DAMA GAZELLE
The dama gazelle (Nanger dama) is a species of gazelle native to the Sahara desert in Africa. It is one of the largest gazelle species, with males standing up to 120 cm (47 in) tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 130 kg (290 lb). The dama gazelle has a pale sandy-brown coat with white underparts, a long slender neck, and distinctive S-shaped horns that can grow up to 1 meter (3.3 ft) in length.
The dama gazelle is a critically endangered species, with an estimated population of less than 500 individuals remaining in the wild. Habitat loss, hunting, and competition with domestic livestock are among the main threats to their survival. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and restore their habitat, and to establish breeding programs in captivity to increase their numbers.
5. RED GAZELLE. Eudorcasrufina
It is an extinct specie. Has distinctive bright red-brown fur. It is characterized to have thin black stripes across its flanks in between its rear and front legs. The top of the head, cheeks and sides of the neck are a pale whitish colour. The center of its face is bordered on both sides by pale streaks running from the eyes to the snout. It has a rufous tail with a black tip
6. MONGALLA GAZELLE Eudorcasalbonotata
The Mongolian gazelle, also known as the dzeren, is a medium-sized ungulate found in the grasslands and semi-desert regions of Mongolia and China. It has a distinctive reddish-brown coat with a white underbelly, black markings on its face and legs, and a short, white tail. The males have slender, lyre-shaped horns that grow up to 60 cm long, while females typically do not have horns. Mongolian gazelles are well adapted to their open grassland habitat, with long, slender legs that allow them to run quickly and escape predators. They are also able to survive in areas with low water availability, obtaining moisture from the plants they eat.
7. SAUDI GAZELLE Gazellasaudiya
The Saudi gazelle, also known as the mountain gazelle, is a small and slender ungulate found in the rocky and mountainous regions of Saudi Arabia. It has a pale brown coat with white underparts, a white rump, and black and white markings on its face and legs. The males have short, ringed horns that grow up to 20 cm long. Saudi gazelles are well adapted to their rocky habitat, with long, slender legs that allow them to navigate uneven terrain with ease. They are also able to go long periods without water, obtaining moisture from the plants they eat.
The gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is a species of antelope that inhabits the dry, arid regions of eastern Africa, such as Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. It is a small to medium-sized antelope, with males standing up to 105 cm (3.4 ft) tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 52 kg (115 lb), while females are slightly smaller.What makes the gerenuk unique is its long, slender neck that allows it to reach high branches and foliage that other antelopes cannot reach. Its name comes from the Somali word "geri," which means "giraffe," and "nuug," which means "neck." The gerenuk has a reddish-brown coat with a white underbelly, and its slender legs are darker in color. The gerenuk feeds mainly on leaves, flowers, and fruits.
9. DAMA GAZELLE
The Dama gazelle, also known as the addra gazelle, is a large, slender ungulate native to the Sahara and Sahel regions of Africa. It is one of the tallest gazelles, with males standing up to 1.3 meters tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 120 kg. They have long, thin legs and a distinctive, gently curving pair of horns that can grow up to 1 meter long in males and are slightly shorter in females. Their coat is pale sandy brown, with a white underbelly and black markings on their face and legs. Dama gazelles are well adapted to their arid habitat, with the ability to survive long periods without water and the ability to extract moisture from the plants they eat.
10. MOUTAIN GAZELLE
Mountain gazelles are dark brown in color with a white belly and light brown limbs. The face is marked with a light stripe with black lower margins. Their short tail is black and bushy. These gazelles are one of the few mammals in which both sexes have horns. Males have significantly larger and wider horns with rings around them. Males are also larger than females.
Mountain gazelles are diurnal creatures; they are active during the day and sleep at night. They are social and very territorial. These gazelles usually live in herds of three to eight individuals. Each herd consists of three main groups: maternity herds, bachelor male herds, or territorial solitary males. During the day Mountain gazelles prefer to bed on the tops of the hills or mountains to avoid the heat and around dawn and dusk, they spend their time foraging. They are herbivorous mammals.
1. Gazelles and Antelopes." African Wildlife Foundation.
2. Wildlife of East Africa – Dave Richards
3. Antelope and gazelle encyclopedia.
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