Saturday, October 8, 2011

Waterbuck

Female Waterbuck
Can you believe that we haven't talked about an antelope since June? And did you know there are around 90 different species, and that almost 3/4 of those live in Africa? I should do an all Antelope theme week... it's been a while since we've had a theme week...

Anyway, today we will learn about one of those 70 or so African Antelope species, the Waterbuck. Waterbuck, not surprisingly, live close to water sources. They feed on the long grasses surrounding various bodies of water, and then use the water to escape from predators if needed. They considered to be strong swimmers. However, of the half dozen members of the Kobus genus, the Waterbuck isn't even the most water dependent. Crazy.

Male Waterbuck are very territorial, and will guard their stretch of land and the cows within it. Females live in loose herds that overlap the males' territory, which means that the bulls with more land will end up having larger harems.

One really neat fact about these guys is that they have really tough, musty, stinky meat. This means that when other prey is available, predators will more of less leave the Waterbuck alone.

There are several different subspecies of Waterbuck, and at one time they were classified under two separate species. However, they are now all lumped under one species, due to the fact that they interbreed with one another when ranges overlap.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Sub-Saharan Africa
Size : Shoulder height 50in (1.3m), Weight 500lbs (227kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae -- Genus : Kobus -- Species : K. ellipsiprymnus

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