|Blackbuck antelope of India|
|Cladistically included but traditionally excluded taxa|
An antelope is a member of a number of even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a wastebasket taxon (miscellaneous group) within the family Bovidae, encompassing those Old World species that are not cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, or goats; even so, antelope are generally more deer-like than other bovids. A group of antelope is called a herd.
The even-toed ungulates are ungulates - hoofed animals - which bear weight equally on two of the five toes: their third and fourth toes. The other three toes are either present, absent, vestigial, or pointing posteriorly. By contrast, odd-toed ungulates bear weight on one of the five toes: the third toe. Another difference between the two is that even-toed ungulates digest plant cellulose in one or more stomach chambers rather than in their intestine as the odd-toed ungulates do.
In biogeography, a species is indigenous to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. The term is equivalent to the concept of native or autochthonous species. Every wild organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as indigenous. Outside this native range, a species may be introduced by human activity, either intentionally or unintentionally; it is then referred to as an introduced species within the regions where it was anthropogenically introduced.
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
The English word "antelope" first appeared in 1417 and is derived from the Old French antelop, itself derived from Medieval Latin ant(h)alopus, which in turn comes from the Byzantine Greek word anthólops, first attested in Eustathius of Antioch (circa 336), according to whom it was a fabulous animal "haunting the banks of the Euphrates, very savage, hard to catch and having long, saw-like horns capable of cutting down trees".It perhaps derives from Greek anthos (flower) and ops (eye), perhaps meaning "beautiful eye" or alluding to the animals' long eyelashes. This, however, may be a later folk etymology. The word talopus and calopus, from Latin, came to be used in heraldry. In 1607, it was first used for living, cervine animals.
Old French was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. In the 14th century, these dialects came to be collectively known as the langue d'oïl, contrasting with the langue d'oc or Occitan language in the south of France. The mid-14th century is taken as the transitional period to Middle French, the language of the French Renaissance, specifically based on the dialect of the Île-de-France region.
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in Roman Catholic Western Europe during the Middle Ages. In this region it served as the primary written language, though local languages were also written to varying degrees. Latin functioned as the main medium of scholarly exchange, as the liturgical language of the Church, and as the working language of science, literature, law, and administration.
Eustathius of Antioch, sometimes surnamed the Great, was a Christian bishop and archbishop of Antioch in the 4th century. His feast day in the Orthodox Church is February 21.
The 91 species, most of which are native to Africa, occur in about 30 genera. The classification of tribes or subfamilies within Bovidae is still a matter of debate, with several alternative systems proposed.
Antelope are not a cladistic or taxonomically defined group. The term is used to describe all members of the family Bovidae that do not fall under the category of sheep, cattle, or goats. Usually, all species of the Alcelaphinae, Antilopinae, Hippotraginae, Reduncinae, Cephalophinae, many Bovinae, the grey rhebok, and the impala are called antelopes.
Domestic sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like most ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name sheep applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep. An adult female sheep is referred to as a ewe, an intact male as a ram or occasionally a tup, a castrated male as a wether, and a younger sheep as a lamb.
Cattle—colloquially cows—are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos taurus.
The domestic goat or simply goat is a subspecies of C. aegagrus domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the goat—antelope subfamily Caprinae, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, and have been used for milk, meat, fur, and skins across much of the world. Milk from goats is often turned into goat cheese.
More species of antelope are native to Africa than to any other continent, almost exclusively in savannahs, with 20-35 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 antelope, and four-horned antelope, while Russia and Central Asia have the Tibetan antelope, and saiga.
The Arabian peninsula, simplified Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate. From a geographical perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia.
The Arabian oryx or white oryx is a medium-sized antelope with a distinct shoulder bump, long, straight horns, and a tufted tail. It is a bovid, and the smallest member of the genus Oryx, native to desert and steppe areas of the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian oryx was extinct in the wild by the early 1970s, but was saved in zoos and private preserves, and was reintroduced into the wild starting in 1980.
The dorcas gazelle, also known as the ariel gazelle, is a small and common gazelle. The dorcas gazelle stands about 55–65 cm (1.8-2.1 ft) at the shoulder, with a head and body length of 90–110 cm (3-3.6 ft) and a weight of 15–20 kg (33-44 lb). The numerous subspecies survive on vegetation in grassland, steppe, wadis, mountain desert and in semidesert climates of Africa and Arabia. About 35,000 - 40,000 exist in the wild. The extinct Saudi gazelle from the Arabian Peninsula has been previously considered as a subspecies of the dorcas gazelle.
No antelope 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 locally referred to as such (e.g. Antelope Valley). 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.
Australasia comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands. It is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiographically, and ecologically where the term covers several several slightly different but related regions.
Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,000,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The Americas comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they make up most of the land in Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World.
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 antelope species. Accordingly, wild populations of blackbuck antelope, gemsbok, and nilgai may be found in Texas.
Antelope live in a wide range of habitats. Numerically, most live in the African savannahs. However, many species are more secluded, such as the forest antelope, 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.
Antelopes vary greatly in size. For example, a male common eland can measure 178 cm (70 in) at the shoulder and weigh almost 950 kg (2,090 lb), whereas an adult royal antelope may stand only 24 cm (9.4 in) at the shoulder and weigh a mere 1.5 kg (3.3 lb).
Not surprisingly for animals with long, slender yet powerful legs, many antelopes have long strides and can run fast. Some (e.g. klipspringer) are also adapted to inhabiting rock koppies and crags. Both dibatags and gerenuks habitually stand on their two hind legs to reach acacia and other tree foliage. Different antelope have different body types, which can affect movement. Duikers are short, bush-dwelling antelope that can pick through dense foliage and dive into the shadows rapidly. Gazelles and springbok are known for their speed and leaping abilities. Even larger antelope, such as nilgai, elands, and kudus, are capable of jumping 2.4 m (7.9 ft) or greater, although their running speed is restricted by their greater mass.
Antelope have a wide variety of coverings, though most have a dense coat of short fur. In most species, the coat (pelage) is some variation of a brown colour (or several shades of brown), often with white or pale underbodies. Exceptions include the zebra-marked zebra duiker, the grey, black, and white Jentink's duiker, and the black lechwe. Most of the "spiral-horned" antelopes have pale, vertical stripes on their backs. Many desert and semidesert species are particularly pale, some almost silvery or whitish (e.g. Arabian oryx); the beisa and southern oryxes have gray and black pelages with vivid black-and-white faces. Common features of various gazelles are white rumps, which flash a warning to others when they run from danger, and dark stripes midbody (the latter feature is also shared by the springbok and beira). The springbok also has a pouch of white, brushlike hairs running along its back, which opens up when the animal senses danger, causing the dorsal hairs to stand on end.
Antelope are ruminants, so have well-developed molar teeth, which grind cud (food balls stored in the stomach) into a pulp for further digestion. They have no upper incisors, but rather a hard upper gum pad, against which their lower incisors bite to tear grass stems and leaves.
Like many other herbivores, antelopes rely on keen senses to avoid predators. Their eyes are placed on the sides of their heads, giving them a broad radius of vision with minimal binocular vision. Their horizontally elongated pupils also help in this respect. Acute senses of smell and hearing give antelope the ability to perceive danger at night out in the open (when predators are often on the prowl). These same senses play an important role in contact between individuals of the same species; markings on their heads, ears, legs, and rumps are used in such communication. Many species "flash" such markings, as well as their tails; vocal communications include loud barks, whistles, "moos", and trumpeting; many species also use scent marking to define their territories or simply to maintain contact with their relatives and neighbors.
Many antelope are sexually dimorphic. In most species, both sexes have horns, but those of males tend to be larger. Males tend to be larger than the females, but exceptions in which the females tend to be heavier than the males include the bush duiker, dwarf antelope, Cape grysbok, and oribi, all rather small species. A number of species have hornless females (e.g. sitatunga, red lechwe, and suni). In some species, the males and females have differently coloured pelages (e.g. blackbuck and nyala).
The size and shape of antelope horns varies greatly. Those of the duikers and dwarf antelopes tend to be simple "spikes", but differ in the angle to the head from backward curved and backward pointing (e.g. yellow-backed duiker) to straight and upright (e.g. steenbok). Other groups have twisted (e.g. common eland), spiral (e.g. greater kudu), "recurved" (e.g. the reedbucks), lyrate (e.g. impala), or long, curved (e.g. the oryxes) horns. Horns are not shed and their bony cores are covered with a thick, persistent sheath of horny material, both of which distinguish them from antlers.
Horns are efficient weapons, and tend to be better developed in those species where males fight over females (large herd antelope) than in solitary or lekking species. With male-male competition for mates, horns are clashed in combat. Males more commonly use their horns against each other than against another species. The boss of the horns is typically arranged in such a way that two antelope striking at each other's horns cannot crack each other's skulls, making a fight via horn more ritualized than dangerous. Many species have ridges in their horns for at least two-thirds the length of their horns, but these ridges are not a direct indicator of age.
Antelope are often classified by their reproductive behavior.
Small antelope, such as dik-diks, tend to be monogamous. They live in a forest environment with patchy resources, and a male is unable to monopolize more than one female due to this sparse distribution. Larger forest species often form very small herds of two to four females and one male.
Some species, such as lechwes, pursue a lek breeding system, where the males gather on a lekking ground and compete for a small territory, while the females appraise males and choose one with which to mate.
Large grazing antelope, such as impala or wildebeest, form large herds made up of many females and a single breeding male, which excludes all other males, often by combat.
Antelope pursue a number of defense strategies, often dictated by their morphology.
Large antelope that gather in large herds, such as wildebeest, rely on numbers and running speed for protection. In some species, adults will encircle the offspring, protecting them from predators when threatened. Many forest antelope rely on cryptic coloring and good hearing to avoid predators. Forest antelope often have very large ears and dark or striped colorations. Small antelope, especially duikers, evade predation by jumping into dense bush where the predator cannot pursue.Springboks use a behavior known as stotting to confuse predators.
Open grassland species have nowhere to hide from predators, so they tend to be fast runners. They are agile and have good endurance—these are advantages when pursued by sprint-dependent predators such as cheetahs, which are the fastest of land animals, but tire quickly. Reaction distances vary with predator species and behaviour. For example, gazelles may not flee from a lion until it is closer than 200 m (650 ft)—lions hunt as a pride or by surprise, usually by stalking; one that can be seen clearly is unlikely to attack. However, sprint-dependent cheetahs will cause gazelles to flee at a range of over 800 metres (1⁄2 mile).
About 25 species are rated by the IUCN as endangered,such as the dama gazelle and mountain nyala. A number of subspecies are also endangered, including the giant sable antelope and the mhorr gazelle. The main causes for concern for these species are habitat loss, competition with cattle for grazing, and trophy hunting.
The chiru or Tibetan antelope is hunted for its pelt, which is used in making shahtoosh wool, used in shawls. Since the fur can only be removed from dead animals, and each animal yields very little of the downy fur, several antelope must be killed to make a single shawl. This unsustainable demand has led to enormous declines in the chiru population.
The saiga is hunted for its horns, which are considered an aphrodisiac by some cultures. Only the males have horns, and have been so heavily hunted that some herds contain up to 800 females to one male. The species has shown a steep decline and is critically endangered.
It is difficult to determine how long antelope live in the wild. With the preference of predators towards old and infirm individuals, which can no longer sustain peak speeds, few wild prey-animals live as long as their biological potential. In captivity, wildebeest have lived beyond 20 years old, and impalas have reached their late teens.
The antelope's horn is prized for medicinal and magical powers in many places. The horn of the male saiga, in Eastern practice, is ground as an aphrodisiac, for which it has been hunted nearly to extinction.In the Congo, it is thought to confine spirits. Christian iconography sometimes uses the antelope's two horns as a symbol of the two spiritual weapons Christians possess: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The antelope's ability to run swiftly has also led to their association with the wind, such as in the Rig Veda , as the steeds of the Maruts and the wind god Vayu. There is, however, no scientific evidence that the horns of any antelope have any change on a human's physiology or characteristics.
In Mali, antelopes were believed to have brought the skills of agriculture to mankind.
Domestication of animals requires certain traits in the animal that antelope do not typically display. Most species are difficult to contain in any density, due to the territoriality of the males, or in the case of oryxes (which have a relatively hierarchical social structure), an aggressive disposition; they can easily kill a human. Because many have extremely good jumping abilities, providing adequate fencing is a challenge. Also, antelope will consistently display a fear response to perceived predators, such as humans, making them very difficult to herd or handle. Although antelope have diets and rapid growth rates highly suitable for domestication, this tendency to panic and their nonhierarchical social structure explains why farm-raised antelope are uncommon. Ancient Egyptians kept herds of gazelles and addax for meat, and occasionally pets. It is unknown whether they were truly domesticated, but it seems unlikely, as no domesticated gazelles exist today.
However, humans have had success taming certain species, such as the elands. These antelope sometimes jump over each other's backs when alarmed, but this incongruous talent seems to be exploited only by wild members of the species; tame elands do not take advantage of it and can be enclosed within a very low fence. Their meat, milk, and hides are all of excellent quality, and experimental eland husbandry has been going on for some years in both Ukraine and Zimbabwe. In both locations, the animal has proved wholly amenable to domestication.Similarly, European visitors to Arabia reported "tame gazelles are very common in the Asiatic countries of which the species is a native; and the poetry of these countries abounds in allusions both to the beauty and the gentleness of the gazelle." Other antelope that have been tamed successfully include the gemsbok, the kudu, and the springbok. Nor are the characteristics described above necessarily barriers to domestication; for further information, see animal domestication.
A wide variety of antelope hybrids have been recorded in zoos, game parks, and wildlife ranches, due to either a lack of more appropriate mates in enclosures shared with other species or a misidentification of species. The ease of hybridization shows how closely related some antelope species are. With few exceptions, most hybrid antelope occur only in captivity.
Most hybrids occur between species within the same genus. All reported examples occur within the same subfamily. As with most mammal hybrids, the less closely related the parents, the more likely the offspring will be sterile.
Antelopes are a common symbol in heraldry, though they occur in a highly distorted form from nature. The heraldic antelope has the body of a stag and the tail of a lion, with serrated horns, and a small tusk at the end of its snout. This bizarre and inaccurate form was invented by European heralds in the Middle Ages, who knew little of foreign animals and made up the rest. The antelope was mistakenly imagined to be a monstrous beast of prey; the 16th century poet Edmund Spenser referred to it as being "as fierce and fell as a wolf."
Antelopes can all also occur in their natural form, in which case they are termed "natural antelopes" to distinguish them from the more usual heraldic antelope.The arms previously used by the Republic of South Africa featured a natural antelope, along with an oryx.
The springbok is a medium-sized antelope found mainly in southern and southwestern Africa. The sole member of the genus Antidorcas, this bovid was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. Three subspecies are identified. A slender, long-legged antelope, the springbok reaches 71 to 86 cm at the shoulder and weighs between 27 and 42 kg. Both sexes have a pair of black, 35-to-50 cm (14-to-20 in) long horns that curve backwards. The springbok is characterised by a white face, a dark stripe running from the eyes to the mouth, a light-brown coat marked by a reddish-brown stripe that runs from the upper fore leg to the buttocks across the flanks like the Thomson's gazelle, and a white rump flap.
The Bovidae are the biological family of cloven-hoofed, ruminant mammals that includes bison, African buffalo, water buffalo, antelopes, wildebeest, impala, gazelles, sheep, goats, muskoxen, and domestic cattle. A member of this family is called a bovid. With 143 extant species and 300 known extinct species, the family Bovidae consists of eight major subfamilies apart from the disputed Peleinae and Pantholopinae. The family evolved 20 million years ago, in the early Miocene.
The impala is a medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa. The sole member of the genus Aepyceros, it was first described to European audiences by German zoologist Hinrich Lichtenstein in 1812. Two subspecies are recognised—the common impala, and the larger and darker black-faced impala. The impala reaches 70–92 centimetres at the shoulder and weighs 40–76 kg (88–168 lb). It features a glossy, reddish brown coat. The male's slender, lyre-shaped horns are 45–92 centimetres long.
The greater kudu is a woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to declining habitat, deforestation and poaching. The greater kudu is one of two species commonly known as kudu, the other being the lesser kudu, T. imberbis.
The common eland, also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. It is a species of the family Bovidae and genus Taurotragus. It was first described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766. An adult male is around 1.6 metres (5') tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 942 kg (2,077 lb) with an average of 500–600 kg (1,100–1,300 lb), 340–445 kg (750–981 lb) for females). It is the second largest antelope in the world, being slightly smaller on average than the giant eland.
The giant eland, also known as the Lord Derby eland, is an open-forest and savanna antelope. A species of the family Bovidae and genus Taurotragus, it was described in 1847 by John Edward Gray. The giant eland is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (86.5–114 in). There are two subspecies: T. d. derbianus and T. d. gigas.
The gerenuk, also known as the giraffe gazelle, is a long-necked antelope found in the Horn of Africa and the drier parts of East Africa. The sole member of the genus Litocranius, the gerenuk was first described by the naturalist Victor Brooke in 1878. It is characterised by its long, slender neck and limbs. The antelope is 80–105 centimetres (31–41 in) tall, and weighs between 28 and 52 kilograms. Two types of colouration are clearly visible on the smooth coat: the reddish brown back or the "saddle", and the lighter flanks, fawn to buff. The horns, present only on males, are lyre-shaped. Curving backward then slightly forward, these measure 25–44 centimetres (9.8–17.3 in).
The bay duiker, also known as the black-striped duiker and the black-backed duiker, is a forest-dwelling duiker native to western and southern Africa. It was first described by British zoologist John Edward Gray in 1846. Two subspecies are identified. The bay duiker is reddish brown and has a moderate size. Both sexes reach 44–49 cm (17–19 in) at the shoulder. The sexes do not vary considerably in their weights, either; the typical weight range for this duiker is 18–23 kg (40–51 lb). Both sexes have a pair of spiky horns, measuring 5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in). A notable feature of this duiker is the well-pronounced solid stripe of black extending from the back of the head to the tail.
Thomson's gazelle is one of the best-known gazelles. It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson and is sometimes referred to as a "tommie". It is considered by some to be a subspecies of the red-fronted gazelle and was formerly considered a member of the genus Gazella within the subgenus Eudorcas, before Eudorcas was elevated to genus status. Thomson's gazelles can be found in numbers exceeding 550,000 in Africa and are recognized as the most common type of gazelle in East Africa. The Thomson's gazelle can reach speeds of 50–55 miles per hour (80–90 km/h). It is the fifth-fastest land animal, after the cheetah, pronghorn, springbok, and wildebeest.
The oribi is a small antelope found in eastern, southern and western Africa. The sole member of its genus, the oribi was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1782. Eight subspecies are identified. The oribi reaches nearly 50–67 centimetres (20–26 in) at the shoulder and weighs 12–22 kilograms (26–49 lb). This antelope features a slightly raised back, and long neck and limbs. The glossy, yellowish to rufous brown coat contrasts with the white chin, throat, underparts and rump. Only males possess horns; the thin, straight horns, 8–18 centimetres (3.1–7.1 in) long, are smooth at the tips and ringed at the base.
The gemsbok, gemsbuck or South African oryx is a large antelope in the genus Oryx. It is native to the arid regions of Southern Africa, such as the Kalahari Desert. Some authorities formerly included the East African oryx as a subspecies.
The zebra duiker is a small antelope found primarily in Liberia, as well as the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and occasionally Guinea. They are sometimes referred to as the banded duiker or striped-back duiker. It is believed to be one of the earliest duiker species to have evolved.
Taurotragus is a genus of large antelopes of the African savanna, commonly known as elands. It contains two species: the common eland T. oryx and the giant eland T. derbianus.
The Grant's gazelle is a species of gazelle distributed from northern Tanzania to South Sudan and Ethiopia, and from the Kenyan coast to Lake Victoria. Its Swahili name is swala granti. It was named for a 19th-century Scottish explorer, Lt Col Grant.
South Africa has a large variety of wildlife, which includes snakes, birds, plains animals, and predators. The country has 299 species of mammals, and 858 species of birds.
The wildlife of Kenya refers to its fauna. The diversity of Kenya's wildlife has garnered international fame, especially for its populations of large mammals. Mammal species include lion, cheetah hippopotamus, African buffalo, wildebeest (Connochaetes), African elephant (Loxodonta), zebra, giraffe (Giraffa), and rhinoceros. Kenya has a very diverse population of birds, including flamingo and ostrich
The tribe Tragelaphini, or the spiral-horned antelopes, are bovines that are endemic to sub-Sahara Africa. These include the bushbuck, kudus, and the elands. The scientific name is in reference to the mythical creature the tragelaph, a Chimera with the body of a stag and the head of a goat. They are medium-to-large, tall, long-legged antelopes characterized by their iconic twisted horns and striking pelage coloration patterns.
The topi is a highly social and fast antelope subspecies of the common tsessebe, a species which belongs to the genus Damaliscus. They are found in the savannas, semi-deserts, and floodplains of sub-Saharan Africa.
The preorbital gland is a paired exocrine gland found in many species of hoofed animals, which is homologous to the lacrimal gland found in humans. These glands are trenchlike slits of dark blue to black, nearly bare skin extending from the medial canthus of each eye. They are lined by a combination of sebaceous and sudoriferous glands, and they produce secretions which contain pheromones and other semiochemical compounds. Ungulates frequently deposit these secretions on twigs and grass as a means of communication with other animals.
The fringe-eared oryx is a subspecies of East African oryx. It was originally described as a distinct species by Oldfield Thomas in 1892, but was subsequently re-evaluated as a subspecies by Richard Lydekker in 1912. Recently, analysis using the phylogenetic species concept has led some authors to conclude that it should be returned to full species status.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Antelope .|