Our Beautiful World


Thomsongaselle-hann med sine praktfulle S-formede horn.
Hunnens horn er kortere og tynne som blyanter.

Family Bovidae
Subfamily Antilopinae:
gazelles, dwarf antelopes and the saiga, 34 species in 13 genera

The Subfamily Antilopinae, the true antelopes are displayed on this page, and on the page
with Antelopes. These two pages may change when we see how it is best to split the animals. This depends on what we can find of information and pictures..

Springbok, Antidorcas marsupialis

Springbok with hungry calf..
© Photo Des & Jen Bartlett, National Geographic,
March 1983

The springbok, Antidorcas marsupialis, (Afrikaans and Dutch: spring = jump; bok = antelope or goat), is a medium-sized
brown and white gazelle that stands about 70 to 88 cm high. Springbok males weigh between 33 and 50 kg and the females
between 25 and 40 kg. They can reach running speeds of up to 90 km/h to 96 km/h and can leap 3.50 m and can long jump
of up to 15 m.
Springbukken, Antidorcas marsupialis, belongs to the sandy highlandl of Kalahari and
in the semideserted areas in the southern Africa.

It is much like East-Africa's thomsongazelle (See below) but is a bit taller.
Also the shape of the horns are a little different, and it runs much faster..
(but, of course, that's a bit difficult to see from the pictures.....)
But just to complicate a little further, then the thomson's gazelle is like the grant's gazelle.

Do you see why it is called ''spring-bok?
© Photo Des & Jen Bartlett, National Geographic,
March 1983

The specific epithet marsupialis (Latin: marsupium, "pocket") derives from a pocket-like skin flap which extends along the
middle of the back from the tail onwards. When the male springbok is showing off his strength to attract a mate, or to ward
off predators, he starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the
flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a conspicuous fan shape, which in
turn emits a strong floral scent of sweat. This ritual is known as pronking from the Afrikaans, meaning to boast or show off.

Now danger somewhere!
© Photo Des & Jen Bartlett, National Geographic, March 1983

Springbok are between 70–90 centimetres tall at the shoulder, depending on the age, weight and gender of the particular
antelope, they weigh between 25–40 kilograms for the females and 33–50 kilograms for the males. Their colouring consists
of three colours, white, reddish/tan and dark brown. Their backs are tan coloured and they are white beneath,
with a dark brown stripe extending along each side from the shoulder to inside the thigh.

Rams are slightly larger than ewes and have thick horns, the ewes tend to have skinnier legs and longer, more frail horns.
Average horn length for both genders is 35 centimetres with the record being a female with horns measuring 49 centimetres. Springbok footprints are narrow and sharp and are 5.5 centimetres long.

Springbok inhabit the dry inland areas of south and southwestern Africa. Their range extends from the northwestern part of
South Africa through the Kalahari desert into Namibia and Botswana. Springbok occur in numbers of up to 2,500,000 in
South Africa;[9] it is the most plentiful antelope. They used to be very common, forming some of the largest herds of
mammals ever documented,[10] but their numbers have diminished significantly since the 19th century due to hunting and
fences from farms blocking their migratory routes

It shares its range with many other herbivores, such as the Gemsbok, African Bush Elephant, Blue Wildebeest, Plains Zebra,
and Blesbok. It is sympatric with the Impala only in certain corners of its range,

Thomsongasellen, Gazella thomsoni, Eudorcas thomsoni

The Thomson's Gazelle is more drought-resistant than most dominant ungulates on the savannah. It is however,
more water-dependent than the Grant's Gazelle. It arrives last in the migratory season behind the wildebeest and zebras.
It first grazes, then browses more when the grasses become short and dry.


The Thomson's gazelle, Eudorcas thomsonii, is one of the best-known gazelles. It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson
and, as a result, 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 500.000 in Africa and are recognized as the most
common type of gazelle in East Africa.

Thomson's gaselle with newborn baby.

Thomson's gazelles are 50 to 70 cm tall and weigh 15 to 25 kg (females), 20 to 30 kg (males). They have light brown coats
with white underparts and distinctive black stripes on the sides. Their horns are long and pointed with slight curvature.
The white patch on their rump extends to underneath the tail but no further. A mistake sometimes made is the misidentification
of Grant's gazelles as Thomson's gazelles. Although some Grant's do have the black stripe running across their sides,
the white on their rump always extends above the tail.

The female isolates herself in an area with ground cover to give birth. The fawns, which are nearly odorless, hide for 2 weeks.
The next 8 weeks is spent in feeding and in social interaction. They are weaned within 3-6 months. The fawn is perpetually
vulnerable to jackals and baboons. We saw this fawn take its first steps and then had to sit breathlessly by while a
Spotted Hyena meandered through the herd looking for prey. Another fawn moved and the hyena was on it in a split second

Thomson's Gazelle, Gazella thomsoni
location Masai Mara Game Reserve (Kenya), Nov 1999

Photo: 1335 3153 0217 0044: Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences

Thomson's gazelles live in Africa's savannas and grassland habitats, particularly the Serengeti region of Kenya and Tanzania.
It has narrow habitat preferences being confined to short grassland with dry firm footing. It does, however, move into
tall grassland and dense woodland during migration. Gazelles are mixed feeders. In the wet seasons, gazelles eat primarily lush
green grasses, but during the dry seasons it starts to eat more browse particularly foliage, bushes, forbs, and clovers.

Their major predators are cheetahs, which are able to attain higher speeds, but gazelles can outlast them in long chases
and are able to make turns more speedily. This small antelope-gazelle can run very fast, up to 80 km/h, and zigzag, a peculiarity which often saves it from predators. They are also preyed on by lions, leopards, hyenas, baboons, and crocodiles.
A noticeable behaviour of Thomson's gazelles is their bounding leap, known as stotting or pronking, used to startle predators
and display strength.

Grant's gaselle, Nanger granti

The Grant's gazelle, Nanger granti, is a species of gazelle. Its populations are distributed from northern Tanzania to southern Sudan and Ethiopia, and from the Kenyan coast to Lake Victoria. Its Swahili name is 'Swala Granti'.

Grant's Gazelles are very similar to Thomson's Gazelles. They frequent the same plains and are often found
together in the same herds. They differ slightly in habitat and diet. The Grant's tolerates drier, more closed habitats.
It migrates, but often in the reverse direction as Thomson's, wildebeests, zebras and topis.


The Grant's gazelle is found in East Africa and lives in open grass plains and frequently found in shrublands; it avoids areas
that have high grass where the visibility of predators is compromised. They also occur in semi-arid areas as well, and are
relatively arid-adapted, relying on more "browse" or leafy material during dry seasons in order to supplement their intake of
water. They are migratory animals but travel in the opposite direction of most of the other ungulates like Thompson's gazelles,
zebras and wildebeests which are more water dependant. They can subsist on vegetation in waterless, semiarid areas.
Here they face little competition.

The Grant's Gazelle stands 75–90 cm up to the shoulder and weighs 45–65 kg. Its coat is a beige orange on the back
with a white belly. The Grant's Gazelle looks similar to a Thomson's Gazelle except it has lyre-shaped horns which are
stout at the base, clearly ringed and measuring 45–81 cm long. The subspecies are segregated by different morphological characters such as; horn shape and slight differences in coat colour.These differences are not indicative of ecological
separation as with some species.

They can reach running speeds of up to 80 to 90 km/h.

Grant's gaselles are missing the black band along its side, as the Thomson' gazelle has. See picture further up the page.

The young Grant's Gazelle is a "hider" and has a concealment period of about 4-6 weeks. It then joins a peer group,
but the bond with the mother will last until adolescence. Jackals are the Grant's most frequent predator and almost always
on concealed fawns. The Grant mother is large enough to protect against one jackal, but not against 2. Jackals tend to hunt
in pairs during their own breeding season which corresponds with peak Gazelle births.

Grant's gazelle, Ngorongoro Crater
Photographer: William M. Ciesla, http://www.forestryimages.org/

The Grant's gazelle is a gregarious, territorial, and migratory species. The home ranges of does overlap with that of the bucks.
Only male gazelles are territorial. Male gazelles will herd all females that cross their territories. When the females are in estrous,
they are strongly guarded by the dominant male who prevents other males from mating with them. Any doe that tries to leave
is aggressively herded back. Most of the time, the buck’s simple stance in relation to her is enough to keep the female from leaving.

Grant's gazelle at Mount Kenya
Photographer: Kenneth M. Gale, http://www.forestryimages.org/

The Grant’s gazelle is still a common species despite having being eradicated in certain areas. Major threats have been habitat
destruction and hunting. The gazelle’s status as an unthreatened species is dependent on protection of the national parks and
reserves it lives in. Examples of such parks include Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania,
and Lake Turkana National Parks in Kenya. Estimates of the population range from 140,000 to 350,000.
While certain areas have stable popualtions, overall the population trend is going downward.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant's_Gazelle

Speke's Gazelle

Speke's Gazelle, Somalia.
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

Var det noen som varslet fare der borte?


 Antiloper (norwegian)
 Antiloper: Dik dik (norwegian)
 Antiloper: Lyreantilope(norwegian)
 Antiloper: Kuantilope (Hartebeest)
 Antiloper: Gnuen (norwegian)

The images used herein, except where otherwise stated, were obtained from
IMSI's MasterClips(MasterPhotos(C) Collection,
1895 Francisco Blvd.East, San Rafael, CA 94901-5506, USA


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