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Common Eland

Taurotragus oryx is the largest species of antelope in Africa. They are sexually dimorphic, with males capable of weighing over 900kg, and females topping out at 600kg. However, the females win out in horn length. Both sexes have horns, but the females' are longer and more slender, while the males' are short and thick. Common Eland are found in Southern Africa, and are capable of living in a pretty wide variety of environments.

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Interestingly, the trade-off for being the largest antelope is to be the slowest antelope as well. They rarely reach speeds greater than 25mph. However, they do have some remarkable jumping skills (especially for their weight) and can leap 10 feet from a standing start. In other interesting features related to legs, Common Elands have strange joints and tendons in their front legs. When they walk there is a clicking sound. This feature has not been widely researched, but it is suspected that it may have something to do with male territoriality.

Eland live in large herds, usually numbering around 60-75 individuals, though herds in the hundreds have also been witnessed. They have a pretty complex social structure, with three separate group types observed. There are Female Groups, which are predictably full of females. These groups travel large distances. The Male Groups, in contrast, are sedentary. Lastly, there are Nursery Groups, which are made up of females with offspring, calves, and not quite mature adults. As calves age, their mothers leave to rejoin Female Groups. Eventually, the young Eland will be old enough to move on to a different group as well. Eland can live 15-25 years in the wild.

Elands have


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