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Description of Antelope

Antelope are graceful animals that can run at speeds exceeding forty miles an hour and can sustain that pace longer than most of the predators pursuing them.With over seventy species of antelope observed and identified, there is a considerable range of characteristics among them. They range in size fromthe diminutive royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus) that stands about ten inches high and can weigh as little as four pounds, to the eland (Tauratragus derbianus) that, when fully grown, can stand six feet at the shoulders and weigh almost a ton.

Although most antelope live in grasslands, savannas, and forests, the tiny dik-dik (Madoqua) lives in semiarid regions. Whereas most antelope are gregarious animals that travel in herds for mutual protection, the bushback (Tragelaphus scriptus) is an elusive animal that travels alone and is active mostly at night. It avoids other antelope except for mating. The bongo (Boocercus eurycerus) travels in small groups, but often, particularly in old age, is solitary.

The names of various species of antelope reflect the colonial history of the parts of Africa in which they are prevalent. Settlers from the Netherlands named the dik-dik, the wildebeest (Connochaetes), the blesbok, and the duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia). The oryx and gazelle were named by French settlers. Impala (Aepyseros melampus) and kongoni are names drawn fromthe native Swahili language.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Antelope