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Eland antelope

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Eland antelope - Tragelaphus oryx.

Eland antelope - Tragelaphus oryx.

Photo © Anup Shah / Getty Images.
Elands (Taurotragus oryx) belong to the Bovidae family, a group of even-toed ungulates that also includes cattle, sheep, goats, and antelopes.

Elands are the largest of all antelope species. Males are significantly larger than females. Their coat is uniform in color, ranging from grey-brown or fawn, to orange-brown. White vertical flank strips sometimes are present. Both males and females grow horns. The horns on males grow up to 4 feet long, on females, they are shorter, growing up to 2.2 feet in length. Eland horns are beautiful structures, they are quite straight and twisted on the bottom half in a corkscrew manner.

Elands have a forelock (a tuft of mane that falls forward between its ears onto the animal's forehead) and a dewlap (a fold of skin that hangs from the lower part of the neck). The giant eland subspecies (Taurotragus oryx derbianus) has a ridge of hair on its nape and withers.

  • Mass: 400-1000 kg (male), 300-600 kg (female)
  • Body Length: 240-345 cm (male), 210-270 cm (female)
  • Tail Length: 60-90 cm (male),50-80 cm (female)
  • Shoulder Height: 140-180 cm (male), 130-160 cm (female)
  • Diet: herbivorous (grasses, leaves, herbs)
  • Age at Sexual Maturity: 15-24 months
  • Number of Offspring: 1
  • Predators: lion, leopard, hyena, cheetah, Cape hunting dog
  • Average Lifespan: 25 years

Classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Genus: Taurotragus
  • Species: Taurotragus oryx
    The species Taurotragus oryx contains the following subgroups:
    • Subspecies: Taurotragus oryx billingae
    • Subspecies: Taurotragus oryx derbianus
    • Subspecies: Taurotragus oryx livingstonei
    • Subspecies: Taurotragus oryx oryx
    • Subspecies: Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus

Range and Habitat:

Eland antelopes inhabit Africa, their range extends from Ethiopia and southern Zaire to South Africa.

References:

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