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Dik-dik, Madoqua  


Family Bovidae
Subfamily Antilopinae (Antelopes)

Tribe Neotragini
Genus Madoqua
Günther's Dik-dik Madoqua guntheri
Kirk's Dik-dik Madoqua kirkii
Silver Dik-dik Madoqua piacentinii
Salt's Dik-dik Madoqua saltiana


Dik dik, Madoqua kirkii

  
Dik-dik. Yes, just dik-dik. That is what this little antelope fellow is called..
© John H. Fields, http://www.meandmephoto.com/Africa/Pages/Animals.html

5 (?) of those small antelopes are known as dik-diks, belonging to the genus Madoqua.

The dik-dik, is a small antelope in the Genus Madoqua that lives in the bushes of eastern and southern Africa.
Dik-diks stand 30–40 cm at the shoulder, are 50–70 cm long, weigh 3–6 kg and can live for up to 10 years.
Dik-diks are named for the alarm calls of the females. In addition to the female's alarm call, both the male and female
make a shrill whistling sound.

The characteristics espesillay for this genus are the big eyes, the long face and the thin legs. Dik-diks lives on leaves,
and only breeds one youngster at the time, and when it comes into this world, it has relatively large eyes.


dik dik
© Photo Des & Jen Bartlett, National Geographic, March 1983

When the first hunders with guns in their hands began entering the african wilderness, they were greeted by staccato shouts.
That noice came from some antelopes the size of small rabbits. They feed on small dwarf acacies, and are extremely
difficult to sight. Of course, this steady shouting, vibrating 'dik-dik sound, made the hunters very angry, because the sound
also warned other and lager prey that the hunters were after.,


dik dik
http://www.awf.org/wildlives/67

Female dik-diks are somewhat larger than males. The males have horns, which are small (about 3 in or 7.5 cm),
slanted backwards and longitudinally grooved. The hair on the crown forms an upright tuft that sometimes partially
conceals the short, ribbed horns of the male. The upper body is gray-brown,while the lower parts of the body,
including the legs, belly, crest, and flanks, are tan. A bare black spot below the inside corner of each eye contains
a preorbital gland that produces a dark,sticky secretion. Dik-diks insert grass stems and twigs into the gland to
scent-mark their territories.


Not all dik-dik'er are lucky to stay alive long..
this one is going to be food for the two youngster the leopard keeps at home.

© Photo Des & Jen Bartlett, National Geographic,
March 1983

The Dik-dik lives in shrublands and savannas of eastern Africa. Dik-diks seek habitats with plentiful supply of edible
plants such as shrubs. Dik-diks may live in places as varied as dense forest or open plain, but they require good
cover and not too much tall grass. They usually live in pairs over a 5 hectare territory. The territories are often in low,
shrubby bushes along dry, rocky streambeds where there are plenty of hiding places. Dik-diks can blend in with their
surroundings, because of their dusty colored fur. Dik-diks have a series of runways through and around the borders
of their territories.



Guenther's dik-dik, Madoqua guentheri
Photographer: Kenneth M. Gale, http://www.forestryimages.org/

Dik-diks are herbivores. Their diet mainly consists of foliage, shoots, fruit and berries. Dik-diks receive sufficient amounts
of water from their food, making drinking unnecessary. Like all even-toed ungulates, they digest their food with the aid of
microorganisms in the their four-chambered stomach. After initial digestion, the food is repeatedly regurgitated and re-chewed,
a process known also as chewing the cud. Dik-diks' specially shaped tapering head may help them eat the leaves between th
e spines on the Acacia trees, and the ability to feed while still keeping their head high to detect predators.

Source mostly from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dik-dik

 


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