The word ‘antelope’ refers to many four-legged mammals living in Africa, Europe, and Asia. An antelope group is a miscellaneous group of even-toed mammals that are not bovines, sheep, or goats.
There are 91 species of Antelope, and the vast majority of these live in Africa. The word ‘antelope’ is an example of something called wastebasket taxon, which means that it is a word that classifies animals that do not fit into any other similar group. Antelopes are defined by being identical to, but not the same as, sheep, cattle, or goats.
It means a lot of diversity among different species of antelopes. They live in various habitats, from mountainous regions and swamplands to grasslands and savannahs. No antelope species are native to Australasia, Antarctica, North America, or South America.
Antelopes are popular for hunting, so several species have been imported to the Americas for use as a game. Most of these are kept in reserves, but some wild antelope in warmer areas of America have escaped and thrived, particularly in Texas.
What is the Antelope Habitat?
Antelopes have a wide range of habitats depending on the species. These include plains, grasslands, woodlands, deserts, savannahs, and swamps. Each variety of antelope has adaptations that make it suitable to its habitat and protect against the predators that live there.
Antelope adaptations depend on their habitat, including their horns, legs, and hooves. For example, antelopes in flat areas have flat hooves, while antelopes in rocky or mountainous areas have hooves adapted for climbing.
Are Antelopes the same as Deer?
Antelope are not the same as Deer. Deer can be found in many places worldwide and can live in colder climates, whereas Antelopes are native to Africa and Eurasia and generally live in warmer temperatures. Antelope antlers are pointed, While Deer antlers branch out. Also, Antelope antlers grow continuously throughout their lives, While Deer antlers are shed every year and regrow afterward.
What do Antelopes Eat?
Antelopes are grazing animals that eat grass, leaves, shrubs, and other small plants. Some antelope can stand on their back legs and reach up into trees for food, While others live in grasslands where there is plenty of food on the ground for them to eat. As they are herbivores, Antelopes have specially adapted teeth for chewing plants.
How do Antelope protect themselves?
Antelopes have many predators, such as lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, crocodiles, and even pythons. Antelopes have adapted to run extremely fast to escape predators and can also use their long horns for defense. Many Antelopes will gather in herds for protection, and they can alert each other to danger.
Some species of antelope, such as the Springbok, can bounce on their springy legs to indicate that they are frightened, alerting others to danger and causing them to flee. Other antelope species, such as the Wildebeest, can protect themselves from predators by kicking with their strong back legs.
- The horns of an antelope can be straight, short, spiraled, curved, or pointed, depending on the species
- Some species of antelope have four horns instead of two; these are called Four-horned Antelopes
- The largest species of Antelope is the Eland, which can grow to be 6 feet tall
- The smallest species of Antelope is the Royal Antelope, which is just 12 inches tall
- The Impala, a species of Antelope, is the second-fastest mammal after the cheetah
- Antelopes have a highly developed sense of hearing to detect predators
- Antelopes in Africa will sometimes follow Zebras around to find good grass to eat
- Some Antelopes, like Wildebeest, migrate in groups of thousands
- Antelopes make many sounds, such as a moo sound like a cow or a bark like a small dog
- All Antelopes have two toes because they are even-toed mammals
- Antelopes follow the rains to find fresh grass to eat
- All gazelles are antelopes, but not all antelopes are gazelles