Antelope

The antelope is a deer-like mammal found in Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas. There are many different species of antelope including the tiny Royal antelope that stands at the height of a rabbit!

Unlike deer that renew their horns annually, the antelope has strong permanent horns, that antelope mainly use to defend their herd or to fight other antelopes.

An antelope tends to get to between 8 and 10 years old in the wild although they have been known to live for longer when kept in captivity. Many antelope individuals however, wouldn’t last into old age in the wild as antelope are a key target for many large carnivorous mammals. If the antelope was old then the antelope would naturally be slower at running from danger.

Antelope in mist

Antelope in mist

The antelope is one of the many medium-sized mammals holding the African food chain together. The antelope may only graze on grasses but it is a stable food source for many of Africa’s large carnivorous predators, such as lions, hyenas and crocodiles.

Antelope display different defensive behaviors based on their size, habitat, number and species. The smaller solitary antelope tend to live in dense forested areas and these species of antelope defend themselves by hiding. The duiker antelopes get their name from this specie’s ability to dive into the vegetation. Gazelle-sized antelope run and leap, and some species of antelope exhibit their unique behavior of pronking or stotting. Large antelope congregate in larger herds and can depend on running as group defense.

The antelope is found in a wide range of habitats, typically woodland, forest, savannah, grassland plains, and marshes. Several species of antelope have adapted to living in the mountains and rocky outcrops, a few species of antelope have adapted to deserts (both hot and cold), and a couple of species of antelope are even semi-aquatic and these antelope live in swamps.

Sable Antilopes

Sable Antilopes

After mating, female antelopes give birth to a single calf or, more rarely, twins, after a gestation period that can last up to eight months. A mother and her newborn calf are vulnerable to predators, and antelopes have had to evolve different strategies for surviving this period. For most antelope species, the female gives birth in dense cover and leaves the calf while she feeds. The calf comes to its mother when she calls it, and once fed, the calf will hide away again. Once in its hiding place, the calf remains completely still and will run away only if it is on the verge of being discovered.

Antelope Facts

Antelopes are large and diverse group of animals of the cow family (Bovidae). They live in Africa, Asia, Middle East and North America. Antelopes can be found in grasslands, mountains, deserts and wetlands. There are 90 different species of antelopes. 25 of them are endangered. Poaching and loss of habitat are main reasons why they are faced with extinction.

Habitat and Distribution (where they are found)

About 100 different species, or kinds, of antelope are found in Africa, and a few kinds are found in Asia and North America. No antelopes are native to Australia or New Zealand.

Antelopes live in a variety of habitats. Most live on grasslands, such as eland and kudu.

Leopard and Antelopes

Leopard and Antelopes

  • on mountains, such as the klipspringer;
  • in wetlands, such as the waterbuck;
  • in deserts, such as the addax and oryx.

Horns

All the different kinds of antelope have horns. In some kinds of antelope, only the males have horns. In some kinds of antelope both the males and females have horns.

Antelope horns come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes. They can be spiralled, twisted, curved or straight. The largest belong to the male Greater kudu (say koo doo), which has horns that can grow to almost 2 m in length.

Whatever the size and shape, the horns grow around two bony stumps on the antelope’s skull. The horns are hard and hollow.They are made mostly of keratin, which is what human hair and nails are made of. The horns grow all through the antelope’s life, and do not fall off. If an antelope horn breaks, generally through fighting, it does not grow back.

Antelopes use their horns for defence against predators. Males also use them when they fight other males to become important in the herd or to court a female antelope.

blackbuck antelopes

blackbuck antelopes

Antelope horns are different from a deer’s antlers, which are solid bone and which the male deer shed and re-grow each year.

Hooves

Antelopes’ feet are hooves. Each is split in the middle so they are like two toes. The size of the feet generally depend on habitat. Sitatungas live in swamps and have very wide hooves so they don’t slip in the mud. Some, like the Oryx, have wide hooves to stop them sinking in the sand of the deserts where they live. Some antelopes have tiny rounded hooves to help them move more easily in rocky areas.

Diet

Antelopes are herbivores, or plant eaters. Those sharing a habitat generally eat different plants or different parts of plants so they do not compete with each other for food. Because of the way they digest plants they eat, antelopes are ruminants.

Social Behaviour

Most kinds of antelope live in herds for safety. Some herds are huge. Some kinds do not live in herds because where they live food is hard to find, so it is easier to find enough food if they are alone or in small groups.

Eland Antelope

Eland Antelope

Antelopes have excellent senses and are alert in order to look out for predators. Most kinds of antelope are fast runners, and escape predators with great leaps. The fastest can reach speeds of about 95 km per hour. However, antelope species living in arid, or desert, areas do not run as fast as others because they have wide feet for easier movement on the desert sand.

The addax and oryx antelopes live in arid deserts. They travel many kilometres in their search for food. They have special features to help them survive in this harsh habitat. They drink very little, but eat at night when it is cooler and the plants are wet with dew. They pass little moisture out of their bodies. To cope with extreme heat, their bodies have a system of cooling the blood before it goes to the brain. Their fur is generally paler on their underside to reflect ground heat away from the stomach.

Mating Strategies

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.

antelopes

antelopes

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.

Status

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, an incredibly fine material 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 antelope is hunted for its horns, which are considered an aphrodisiac by some cultures. Only the males have horns, and have been so heavily hunted, some herds contain up to 800 females and a male. The species has shown a steep decline and is critically endangered.

Life Cycle

Antelope females give birth somewhere between 4-9 months after mating, depending on what species they are. The calves are cleaned, fed and settled in a secret spot after they are born. The mothers leave the calves, and visit every few hours to feed and clean them. They do this so that they do not lead predators to their calves. The calves stay motionless when they are alone, camouflaged in the undergrowth. After a few weeks they join the herd. The calves are generally very independent, spending more time together than with their mothers.

Two Male Gemsbok Antelopes

Two Male Gemsbok Antelopes

Interesting Antelope Facts

  • 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.

Roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus)

The name “roan” is likely of the same origin as the species name equinus: the colour roan, a grizzled mahogany, is also seen in horses.  Antelope is from anthalops (Greek) a horned animal, probably an antelope.  Another possibility, and also possibly the stem of anthalops, is anthos (Greek) a flower and ops (Greek) the eye which seems to refer to the large, beautiful eyes of these ungulates.  Hippos (Greek) a horse; tragos (Greek) a he-goat.  Equus (Latin) a horse, thus equinus – relating to horses.

General Characteristics

Body Length: 220-265 cm / 7.3-8.8 ft.
Shoulder Height: 140-160 cm / 4.6-5.3 ft.
Tail Length: 60-70 cm / 2-2.3 ft.
Weight: 225-300 kg / 495-660 lb.

The upper body is grizzled grey to roan in colour with the legs darker.  The underparts are white.  On the face there is a black/brown and white facial mask, slightly lighter in females, that consists of a white spot on either side of the eye and a white muzzle.  On the neck and withers is an erect, dark-tipped mane, while a light ‘beard’ is present on the throat.  A long tuft of dark hair is present on the tips of the ears.  The arched, ringed horns are found in both sexes, though slightly smaller in females, grow 60-100 cm / 2-3.3 feet long.

Ontogeny and Reproduction

Gestation Period: 268-280 days.
Young per Birth: 1
Weaning: 4-6 months.
Sexual Maturity: At 2.5-3 years.
Life span: Up to 17 years.

There does not appear to be a specific breeding season for this species.  Females become sexually receptive within three weeks of giving birth, and are capable of reproducing every 10-10.5 months.  A pregnant female will separate from her herd prior to giving birth, and remain with her new calf for about five days afterwards.  After the female has rejoined the herd, the young calf remains concealed for five more weeks, subsequently joining a ‘creche’ with other youngsters in the herd.

The Eland (Taurotragus Oryx)

The Eland is the world’s largest antelope. Males have twisted horns which are thick and tightly spiralled, growing up to 25″ in females and to 50″ in males. Eland belong to the same group as kudus, nyala and bushbuck. Eland are found in grassland, mountain, sub-desert, acacia savannah and miombo woodland areas.

Herbivorous, they feed in areas where shrubs and bushes provide the leaves they prefer. They use their horns to bring twigs and branches into reach. Also known to consume tuberous roots.

Family: Antelope
Size: About 70 inches
Weight: 1,300 to 1,500 pounds
Reproduction: Single young are born any time of the year.
Gestation: Gestation is 9 months.

Saiga antelope – Saiga tatarica

General Characteristics

Body Length: 108-146 cm / 3.6-4.8 ft.
Shoulder Height: 60-80 cm / 2-2.6 ft.
Tail Length: 6-13 cm / 2.4-5.2 in.
Weight: 21-51 kg / 46-112 lb.

The coat is composed of a wooly underlayer and a coarse set of bristly hairs which protect the saiga antelope from the elements.  The cinnamon-buff summer coat is comparatively sparse compared to the virtually white winter coat, which may be up to twice as long and 70 percent thicker.  The underparts, including the underside of the tail, are always light.  There is a small mane on the underside of the neck.  Only one word can describe the face of the saiga – bulging.  The most notable feature is the inflatable, humped nose which looks similar to that of tapirs or dik-diks.  This fleshy proboscis has a wide range of mobility and a unique internal structure, with convoluted bones, and numerous hairs and mucous-secreting glands.  The large nose is functional throughout the year, filtering out airborne dust during the summer migrations and heating the air before it reaches the lungs during the icy winters.  The eyes of the saiga, when viewed from straight on, appear to stand out on small, bony protrusions.  The thick body is supported by spindly legs.  Males alone bear the semi-translucent, wax-coloured horns which grow 20-25 cm / 8-10 inches long.  Almost vertical, the slightly lyrate horns are ringed on their lower two-thirds.

Ontogeny and Reproduction

Gestation Period: 140 days.
Young per Birth: In the first year 1, subsequently 2 is normal.
Weaning: At 3-4 months.
Sexual Maturity: Females at 8 months, males at 20 months.
Life span: 6-10 years.

Births occur at the end of March and beginning of April, with all the females in a herd dropping their calves within a few days.  After birth, the young lie concealed and immobile for the first three days, moving around, bleating, and eating a bit of green food from the fourth day of life.

Antelopehttp://i2.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/springbok-silhouette-mist-kgalagadi-park-south-africa-sunset.jpg?fit=1024%2C1024http://i2.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/springbok-silhouette-mist-kgalagadi-park-south-africa-sunset.jpg?resize=150%2C150 angelsujimeena WorldWildLife,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
The antelope is a deer-like mammal found in Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas. There are many different species of antelope including the tiny Royal antelope that stands at the height of a rabbit! Unlike deer that renew their horns annually, the antelope has strong permanent horns, that antelope...
The <strong>antelope</strong> is a deer-like mammal found in <strong>Africa, Asia</strong> and <strong>parts of the Americas</strong>. There are many different species of <strong>antelope</strong> including the tiny Royal antelope that stands at the height of a rabbit! Unlike deer that renew their horns annually, the <strong>antelope</strong> has strong permanent horns, that antelope mainly use to defend their herd or to fight other antelopes. An <strong>antelope</strong> tends to get to between 8 and 10 years old in the wild although they have been known to live for longer when kept in captivity. Many <strong>antelope</strong> individuals however, wouldn't last into old age in the wild as <strong>antelope</strong> are a key target for many large carnivorous mammals. If the <strong>antelope</strong> was old then the <strong>antelope</strong> would naturally be slower at running from danger. The <strong>antelope</strong> is one of the many medium-sized mammals holding the African food chain together. The <strong>antelope</strong> may only graze on grasses but it is a stable food source for many of Africa's large carnivorous predators, such as <strong>lions, hyenas and crocodiles.</strong> <strong>Antelope</strong> display different defensive behaviors based on their size, habitat, number and species. The smaller solitary antelope tend to live in dense forested areas and these species of <strong>antelope</strong> defend themselves by hiding. The <strong>duiker antelopes</strong> get their name from this specie's ability to dive into the vegetation. <strong>Gazelle-sized antelope</strong> run and leap, and some species of <strong>antelope</strong> exhibit their unique behavior of pronking or stotting. Large <strong>antelope</strong> congregate in larger herds and can depend on running as group defense. The <strong>antelope</strong> is found in a wide range of habitats, typically woodland, forest, savannah, grassland plains, and marshes. Several species of antelope have adapted to living in the mountains and rocky outcrops, a few species of <strong>antelope</strong> have adapted to deserts (both hot and cold), and a couple of species of <strong>antelope</strong> are even semi-aquatic and these <strong>antelope</strong> live in swamps. After mating, female antelopes give birth to a single calf or, more rarely, twins, after a gestation period that can last up to eight months. A mother and her newborn calf are vulnerable to predators, and antelopes have had to evolve different strategies for surviving this period. For most <strong>antelope</strong> species, the female gives birth in dense cover and leaves the calf while she feeds. The calf comes to its mother when she calls it, and once fed, the calf will hide away again. Once in its hiding place, the calf remains completely still and will run away only if it is on the verge of being discovered. <h2>Antelope Facts</h2> <strong>Antelopes</strong> are large and diverse group of animals of the cow family (Bovidae). They live in Africa, Asia, Middle East and North America. <strong>Antelopes</strong> can be found in grasslands, mountains, deserts and wetlands. There are 90 different species of <strong>antelopes</strong>. 25 of them are endangered. Poaching and loss of habitat are main reasons why they are faced with extinction. <h2>Habitat and Distribution (where they are found)</h2> About 100 different species, or kinds, of <strong>antelope</strong> are found in Africa, and a few kinds are found in Asia and North America. No <strong>antelopes</strong> are native to Australia or New Zealand. <strong>Antelopes</strong> live in a variety of habitats. Most live on grasslands, such as eland and kudu. <ul> <li>on mountains, such as the <strong>klipspringer</strong>;</li> <li>in wetlands, such as the <strong>waterbuck</strong>;</li> <li>in deserts, such as the <strong>addax</strong> and <strong>oryx</strong>.</li> </ul> <h2>Horns</h2> All the different kinds of antelope have horns. In some kinds of antelope, only the males have horns. In some kinds of <strong>antelope</strong> both the males and females have horns. <strong>Antelope</strong> horns come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes. They can be spiralled, twisted, curved or straight. The largest belong to the male Greater <strong>kudu</strong> (say koo doo), which has horns that can grow to almost 2 m in length. Whatever the size and shape, the horns grow around two bony stumps on the antelope's skull. The horns are hard and hollow.They are made mostly of keratin, which is what human hair and nails are made of. The horns grow all through the antelope's life, and do not fall off. If an antelope horn breaks, generally through fighting, it does not grow back. Antelopes use their horns for defence against predators. Males also use them when they fight other males to become important in the herd or to court a female antelope. <strong>Antelope horns</strong> are different from a deer's antlers, which are solid bone and which the male deer shed and re-grow each year. <h2>Hooves</h2> Antelopes' feet are hooves. Each is split in the middle so they are like two toes. The size of the feet generally depend on habitat. Sitatungas live in swamps and have very wide hooves so they don't slip in the mud. Some, like the Oryx, have wide hooves to stop them sinking in the sand of the deserts where they live. Some antelopes have tiny rounded hooves to help them move more easily in rocky areas. <h2>Diet</h2> Antelopes are herbivores, or plant eaters. Those sharing a habitat generally eat different plants or different parts of plants so they do not compete with each other for food. Because of the way they digest plants they eat, antelopes are ruminants. <h2>Social Behaviour</h2> Most kinds of antelope live in herds for safety. Some herds are huge. Some kinds do not live in herds because where they live food is hard to find, so it is easier to find enough food if they are alone or in small groups. Antelopes have excellent senses and are alert in order to look out for predators. Most kinds of antelope are fast runners, and escape predators with great leaps. The fastest can reach speeds of about 95 km per hour. However, antelope species living in arid, or desert, areas do not run as fast as others because they have wide feet for easier movement on the desert sand. The addax and oryx antelopes live in arid deserts. They travel many kilometres in their search for food. They have special features to help them survive in this harsh habitat. They drink very little, but eat at night when it is cooler and the plants are wet with dew. They pass little moisture out of their bodies. To cope with extreme heat, their bodies have a system of cooling the blood before it goes to the brain. Their fur is generally paler on their underside to reflect ground heat away from the stomach. <h2>Mating Strategies</h2> <strong>Antelope</strong> 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. <h2>Status</h2> About 25 species are rated by the IUCN as endangered,<sup id="cite_ref-10"></sup> 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 <i>shahtoosh</i>, an incredibly fine material 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 antelope is hunted for its horns, which are considered an aphrodisiac by some cultures. Only the males have horns, and have been so heavily hunted, some herds contain up to 800 females and a male. The species has shown a steep decline and is critically endangered. <h2>Life Cycle</h2> Antelope females give birth somewhere between 4-9 months after mating, depending on what species they are. The calves are cleaned, fed and settled in a secret spot after they are born. The mothers leave the calves, and visit every few hours to feed and clean them. They do this so that they do not lead predators to their calves. The calves stay motionless when they are alone, camouflaged in the undergrowth. After a few weeks they join the herd. The calves are generally very independent, spending more time together than with their mothers. <h2>Interesting Antelope Facts</h2> <ul> <li><strong>Antelopes</strong> 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).</li> <li>All <strong>antelopes</strong> have even-toed hooves, horizontal pupils, stomach adapted for re-chewing of the food (they are ruminants, just like all cows) and bony horns.</li> <li><strong>Bony horns</strong> 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.</li> <li><strong>Antelopes</strong> don't replace their horns annually. They grow continuously throughout their entire life.</li> <li>Horns are typical for all males, but they could be seen in some females also (usually in larger antelopes like Eland or Roan).</li> <li>Few Asian antelope species have 4 instead of two horns.</li> <li>Horns in some species may grow up to 5 feet in length.</li> <li><strong>Antelopes</strong> are herbivores; they eat grass, shots and seeds.</li> <li>They live in the large groups called herds.</li> <li><strong>Antelopes</strong> have extremely developed senses which help them detect predators while they still have time to escape.</li> <li>They are quick runners; some of them can reach up to 43 miles per hour. Largest antelope (Eland) is the slowest.</li> <li>Male <strong>antelopes</strong> are called bucks, females - does and young <strong>antelopes</strong> - calves.</li> <li>Depending on the species, 4-9 months after mating season, baby <strong>antelope</strong> will be born. Baby <strong>antelope</strong> is an easy target and mother keeps it on the secret location until it becomes stronger.</li> <li>When young <strong>antelopes</strong> join the large group, they spend most of their time with other youngsters in the herd.</li> <li><strong>Antelopes</strong> live around 10 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.</li> </ul> <h2>Roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus)</h2> The name "roan" is likely of the same origin as the species name <i>equinus</i>: the colour roan, a grizzled mahogany, is also seen in horses.  Antelope is from <i>anthalops</i> (Greek) a horned animal, probably an antelope.  Another possibility, and also possibly the stem of <i>anthalops</i>, is <i>anthos</i> (Greek) a flower and <i>ops</i> (Greek) the eye which seems to refer to the large, beautiful eyes of these ungulates.  <i>Hippos</i> (Greek) a horse; <i>tragos</i> (Greek) a he-goat.  <i>Equus</i> (Latin) a horse, thus <i>equinus</i> - relating to horses. <h4><big>General Characteristics</big></h4> <em>Body Length</em>: 220-265 cm / 7.3-8.8 ft. <em>Shoulder Height</em>: 140-160 cm / 4.6-5.3 ft. <em>Tail Length</em>: 60-70 cm / 2-2.3 ft. <em>Weight</em>: 225-300 kg / 495-660 lb. The upper body is grizzled grey to roan in colour with the legs darker.  The underparts are white.  On the face there is a black/brown and white facial mask, slightly lighter in females, that consists of a white spot on either side of the eye and a white muzzle.  On the neck and withers is an erect, dark-tipped mane, while a light 'beard' is present on the throat.  A long tuft of dark hair is present on the tips of the ears.  The arched, ringed horns are found in both sexes, though slightly smaller in females, grow 60-100 cm / 2-3.3 feet long. <h4><big>Ontogeny and Reproduction</big></h4> <em>Gestation Period</em>: 268-280 days. <em>Young per Birth</em>: 1 <em>Weaning</em>: 4-6 months. <em>Sexual</em> <em>Maturity</em>: At 2.5-3 years. <em>Life span</em>: Up to 17 years. There does not appear to be a specific breeding season for this species.  Females become sexually receptive within three weeks of giving birth, and are capable of reproducing every 10-10.5 months.  A pregnant female will separate from her herd prior to giving birth, and remain with her new calf for about five days afterwards.  After the female has rejoined the herd, the young calf remains concealed for five more weeks, subsequently joining a 'creche' with other youngsters in the herd. <h2>The Eland (Taurotragus Oryx)</h2> The Eland is the world's largest antelope. Males have twisted horns which are thick and tightly spiralled, growing up to 25" in females and to 50" in males. Eland belong to the same group as kudus, nyala and bushbuck. Eland are found in grassland, mountain, sub-desert, acacia savannah and miombo woodland areas. Herbivorous, they feed in areas where shrubs and bushes provide the leaves they prefer. They use their horns to bring twigs and branches into reach. Also known to consume tuberous roots. <b>Family:</b> Antelope <b>Size:</b> About 70 inches <b>Weight:</b> 1,300 to 1,500 pounds <b>Reproduction:</b> Single young are born any time of the year. <b>Gestation:</b> Gestation is 9 months. <h2>Saiga antelope - Saiga tatarica</h2> <h4><big>General Characteristics</big></h4> <em>Body Length</em>: 108-146 cm / 3.6-4.8 ft. <em>Shoulder Height</em>: 60-80 cm / 2-2.6 ft. <em>Tail Length</em>: 6-13 cm / 2.4-5.2 in. <em>Weight</em>: 21-51 kg / 46-112 lb. The coat is composed of a wooly underlayer and a coarse set of bristly hairs which protect the saiga antelope from the elements.  The cinnamon-buff summer coat is comparatively sparse compared to the virtually white winter coat, which may be up to twice as long and 70 percent thicker.  The underparts, including the underside of the tail, are always light.  There is a small mane on the underside of the neck.  Only one word can describe the face of the saiga - bulging.  The most notable feature is the inflatable, humped nose which looks similar to that of tapirs or dik-diks.  This fleshy proboscis has a wide range of mobility and a unique internal structure, with convoluted bones, and numerous hairs and mucous-secreting glands.  The large nose is functional throughout the year, filtering out airborne dust during the summer migrations and heating the air before it reaches the lungs during the icy winters.  The eyes of the saiga, when viewed from straight on, appear to stand out on small, bony protrusions.  The thick body is supported by spindly legs.  Males alone bear the semi-translucent, wax-coloured horns which grow 20-25 cm / 8-10 inches long.  Almost vertical, the slightly lyrate horns are ringed on their lower two-thirds. <h4><big>Ontogeny and Reproduction</big></h4> <em>Gestation Period</em>: 140 days. <em>Young per Birth</em>: In the first year 1, subsequently 2 is normal. <em>Weaning</em>: At 3-4 months. <em>Sexual</em> <em>Maturity</em>: Females at 8 months, males at 20 months. <em>Life span</em>: 6-10 years. Births occur at the end of March and beginning of April, with all the females in a herd dropping their calves within a few days.  After birth, the young lie concealed and immobile for the first three days, moving around, bleating, and eating a bit of green food from the fourth day of life.