So last week we looked at the elephant, a creature known worldwide but this week I wanted to consider another animal and this is due to the fact that on my return from Zimbabwe I had plenty of discussions regarding the animals I saw. Did you see lions, what about elephants, giraffes, hippos … but I don’t think one person asked me if I had seen any antelopes and this got me thinking – what about these humble creatures – what about these animals which go unnoticed because they are not pretentious. What about the humble antelope?
Ok – before anyone points it out – as my partner has just done – yes many of these pictures feature deers – not antelopes. I will apologize for in all honesty I am not sure what the distinction is.
So lets celebrate the humble antelope in the easiest way possible – pictorially and with these fun facts and trivia from SoftSchools.com
Antelopes vary in size and shape. Largest antelope is Eland (6 feet tall, weigh up to 1450 pounds) while the smallest is Royal antelope, sized like a rabbit (10-12 inches in height).
All antelopes have even-toed hooves, horizontal pupils, stomach adapted for re-chewing of the food (they are ruminants, just like all cows) and bony horns.
Bony horns vary in shape and size. They can be straight, spiral, curved or twisted. Antelopes use horns for fight against other antelopes during mating season and to protect themselves, or the herd, from the predators.
Antelopes don’t replace their horns annually. They grow continuously throughout their entire life.
Horns are typical for all males, but they could be seen in some females also (usually in larger antelopes like Eland or Roan).
Few Asian antelope species have 4 instead of two horns.
Horns in some species may grow up to 5 feet in length.
Antelopes are herbivores; they eat grass, shots and seeds.
They live in the large groups called herds.
Antelopes have extremely developed senses which help them detect predators while they still have time to escape.
They are quick runners; some of them can reach up to 43 miles per hour. Largest antelope (Eland) is the slowest.
Male antelopes are called bucks, females – does and young antelopes – calves.
Depending on the species, 4-9 months after mating season, baby antelope will be born. Baby antelope is an easy target and mother keeps it on the secret location until it becomes stronger.
When young antelopes join the large group, they spend most of their time with other youngsters in the herd.
Antelopes live around 10 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.