Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Topi

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Male Topis are tricky little guys. According to some new findings reported by National Geographic, the males deliberately trick females into sticking around by issuing warning signals. The entire mating system is lek based, which I mentioned in the feature on Kakapo parrots. Males have a small section of land that they fight for a defend, and the females come and go throughout them to decide whom to mate with. If a female in heat appears to be wandering off, the male will begin to snort and stare and act as if a predator is near so that the female will want to stay by him. Tricky indeed!

So beyond that tomfoolery, what is a Topi? A Topi is a mid-sized antelope that lives in Savannah and floodplain areas of Africa. Females and their young live in small groups, while males are mostly solitary, though they sometimes form small bachelor herds when young. Migratory herds with members int he thousands are also seen. Topis consume grasses as their primary food source, can go for days without water, and can run at speeds of up to 44mph, making it one of the fastest mammals in the world!

Topis have several predators in the wild, including lions, leopards and hyenas. Young calves can also fall victim to smaller predators, including eagles!

The term Topi is actually a blanket term for a handful of subspecies of  Damaliscus korrigum. Korrigum is also a common name for one of the subspecies - Damaliscus korrigum korrigum.

1 comment:

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