|Visible Male/Female Differences
Mature bulls have a strong, turpentine/goat-like odour. Females have two pairs of
nipples between their
hind legs. Only males have horns
Floodplains, woodland and grassland within 2 km of water.
Predominantly a grazer with a preference for long grass. Some browsing is
done when grass is low in
protein. Also eats marulas (a tangy fruit) and
sometimes baboon droppings.
Single young (rarely twins) are born throughout the year after a gestation of
280 days. Young are weaned at 6-9 months. Females first calve at two years. Lifespan 11
years. Readily taken by large carnivores.Cows leave the herd to give birth to
calves which lie hidden for 3-4 weeks, but if approached
they run rather than freezing. Females remain in the herd they were born in.
Behavior and Habits
Most active in the cool of the day but also feeds at night.
They usually form
herds of 6-12 but sometimes up to 30 with herd size larger in summer. Females and young
form nursery herds.
bulls have a very strong body odor. Bulls first hold territories at 5-6 years
old and occupation and
status are advertised by standing in a proud posture, neck erect and head up,
showing the white band on the throat. Fights are fierce and result in death more
often than in any
other antelope. Some territorial bulls tolerate the presence of a subordinate male.
Males without territories form bachelor herds which are forced to stay in poor habitat outside
the dominant bulls' territories. Bachelor herds are
allowed to move through territories as long as they behave submissively. Young
males are expelled from the herd when horns start to grow.
Normally silent, snorts and bleats.
Dung and Field sign
Droppings are rounded clumps of flattened pellets, or
separate pellets 2 cm long,
tapered at one end and blunt at the other.