- The term antilopes is used to refer to many species of even-toed ruminant that are indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia.
- Antelopes comprise a wastebasket taxon defined as any of numerous Old World grazing and browsing hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae of the order Artiodactyla.
- A stricter definition, also known as the “true antelopes,” includes only the genera Gazella, Nanger, Eudorcas and Antilope. One North American species, the pronghorn, is colloquially referred to as the “American antilopes,” but it belongs to a different family than the African and Eurasian antelopes.
- A group of antilopes is called a herd. Unlike deer antlers, which are shed and grown annually, antilopes horns grow continuously.
- Dik diks are named on the premise of alarm calls of females.
- It’s a name for four species of small antilopes in the bushlands of the Central African Republic
- Kingdom – Animalia
- Phylum – Chordata
- Class – Mammalia
- Order- Artiodactyla
- Family – Bovidae
- The legs of those antelipes are smaller and have a hunch on their backs and long nostrils. In males, there are short horns that grow out from their heads.
- The long snouts on their body have the ability to disperse heat within the regions of desert areas. The habitat where antelope live may be a semi-open area with low vegetation to cover.
- They’re distributed majorly in thorn bushes, grasslands, woodlands, and arid regions of Africa. The body is brown and gray with plant disease near the eye.
These species are herbivores in eating habits as they prey on plants like buds, stems, and flowers. They even have higher water content. They eat plenty of food with relevant body sizes. It’s a lifespan of 10 years and weighs around 3-4 kilograms.
- Gunther’s dik-dik (Madoqua guntheri)It’s the littlest antelope that is found in arid regions and doesn’t live near coastal areas.
- Kirk’s dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii): These are found in eastern Africa especially in Etosha park Namibia.
- Silver dik-dik (Madoqua Piacentini): These are found in low and dense areas of Ethiopia.
- Salt’s dik-dik (Madoqua saltine): These antelope are found in semi-desert bushland of Africa. these are named after the discoverer of Abyssinia, Henry Salt
- These are highly nocturnal, also shy as they’re active from evening to midnight, and adapted to different conditions like different body temperatures, and low metabolic rates.
- These reduce water loss through their nostrils, by absorbing water from feces and licking dew from their noses.
- These antelope are monogamous. They don’t form groups with their calves and leave them from an early age. they also mark their territories.
- The females become sexually mature earlier than males and give birth double in a year. The survival rate of their offspring is 50-50 which are taken care of by their mother.
- These are at risk of predators like eagles, jackals, leopards, hyenas, and cheetahs.
- Humans are the best threat to dik-diks which are sought for their bones and are used for traditional jewelry. They get also stricken by the loss of habitat near them and also IUCN listed them as Least Concern species.
Behavior and spreading
- More species of antelopes are native to Africa than to any other continent, almost exclusively in savannahs, with 25-40 species co-occurring over much of East Africa.
- Because savannah habitat in Africa has expanded and contracted five times over the last three million years, and the fossil record indicates this is when most extant species evolved, it is believed that isolation in refugia during contractions was a major driver of this diversification.
- Other species occur in Asia: the Arabian Peninsula is home to the Arabian oryx and Dorcas gazelle. India is home to the nilgai, chinkara, blackbuck, Tibetan antilopes, and four-horned antelope, while Russia and Central Asia have the Tibetan antilopes, and saiga.
- Blue duiker (Philantomba monticola) skeleton on display at the Museum of Osteology. No antelopes species is native to Australasia or Antarctica, nor do any extant species occur in the Americas, though the nominate saiga subspecies occurred in North America during the Pleistocene.
- North America is currently home to the native pronghorn, which taxonomists do not consider a member of the antelope group, but which is often locally referred to as such (e.g., “American antilopes”).
- In Europe, several extinct species occur in the fossil record, and the saiga was found widely during the Pleistocene but did not persist into the later Holocene, except in Russian Kalmykia and Astrakhan Oblast.
- Many species of antelopes have been imported to other parts of the world, especially the United States, for exotic game hunting. With some species possessing spectacular leaping and evasive skills, individuals may escape.
- Texas in particular has many game ranches, as well as habitats and climates, that are very hospitable to African and Asian plains antilopes species. Accordingly, wild populations of blackbuck antelopes, gemsbok, and nilgai may be found in Texas.
- They live in a wide range of habitats. Most live in the African savannahs. However, many species are more secluded, such as the forest antilopes, as well as the extreme cold-living saiga, the desert-adapted Arabian oryx, the rocky koppie-living klipspringer, and semiaquatic sitatunga.
- Species living in forests, woodland, or bush tend to be sedentary, but many of the plains species undertake long migrations. These enable grass-eating species to follow the rains and thereby their food supply.
- The gnus and gazelles of East Africa perform some of the most impressive mass migratory circuits of all mammals.
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