Visible Male/Female Differences
Both males and females may have horns. The females are larger and have two pairs of nipples between their hind legs.
Habitat and Distribution
Scrub, bush and woodland. Grassland with bush
or dense grass. Penetrates desert along river runs. Independent of water
when green green food is available.
A browser, eating a wide range of trees and bushes. Also eats fruit, pods and
seeds, roots, caterpillars, bark, flowers, mushrooms and even nestling birds. In arid areas
wild melons are eaten for their water content.
Single lambs weighing 1.7kg are born at any time
of year after a gestation of 5 months. Lambs can run within a day but remain hidden in heavy
cover and the mother returns to suckle. Full grown at 7 months;
females first mate as early as 8-9 months, and give birth at 1 year. Lifespan 8-11 years.
Behavior and Habits
Active at dawn or late afternoon. Seen as solitary, or a female with a lamb. Rarely
in male-female pairs. Scent-marks are produced by the preorbital glands and glands
between the front hooves. When threatened lies still or freezes, dashing away at the last
moment if approached closely. Runs with a distinctive diving, zigzag motion from which
comes the name duiker, which is Afrikaans for diver. The horns and sharp back hooves
are used as
defensive weapons and can cause severe wounds.
The alarm call is a nasal snort; if caught bleats pitifully, a sound that
attracts other duikers and predators.
Dung and Field sign
Droppings are 1 cm long, 1 cm across, with a short point at one end, blunt or slightly
hollow at the other, sometimes in middens.