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Mammals

Antelopes

GemsbokGemsbokAntelopes are fast-running bovids with long legs. They have hooves that are split into two toes and feed on grasses and other plants. The group includes gazelles, impalas, kudus and wildebeest. Living in herds gives them some protection, although young and sick animals make easy targets for predators such as big cats or wild dogs. They may escape from danger by running at top speed. Like other bovids, the antelopes are ruminants: their stomachs are divided into compartments that break down grasses, a tough food to digest, in stages. All males, and some females, have horns.

Greater kuduGreater kudu
A mala impala leaping and runningA mala impala leaping and runningClick to play video

Impala

The impala is a medium-sized antelope with spiral-shaped horns that lives on the savanna grasslands of East and southern Africa. Running from danger, it can leap high into the air, covering distances of 10 metres (33 feet) or more with a single jump. Over short distances, it can clock 60 km/h (about 40 mph).



Male impala lock hornsMale impala lock horns The impala adapts well to the changing seasons: when dry, it is able to go for weeks without drinking and switches from eating grasses to shoots and leaves. 

Autumn is the main mating season for impala. Males aim to establish a territory that will attract females, where the young can be reared safely. Most territories can only be won by defeating its owner in battle. Male impalas lock horns and try to throw their opponents off balance.
 

There are more than 90 species of antelope, most of which live in Africa. A few species live in Asia.

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