Skip to main content


Male Impala
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae
Subfamily : Aepycerotinae
Genus : Aepyceros
Species : melampus

Height : 29-36in (73-92cm)
Weight : 99-132lbs (45-60kg)

IUCN Status : Least Concern, but Aepyceros melampus petersi (Black Faced Impala) is listed as vulnerable

Impalas are found in Eastern Africa in light woodland and grassland areas. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the males growing slightly larger than the females. Males are also the only sex to have horns, which grow in a S-shape to a size of up to 35in (90cm).

Impalas have a really interesting social structure, living in specific group types during different parts of the year. During the wet season young males whoa re non-territorial will form bachelor herds, and females and juveniles form herds that can number over 100 individuals. They will enter territories that are controlled by breeding-age males, and will remain in that territory throughout the season. At the end of the wet season, breeding (rutting) season occurs, and lasts about three weeks.

After rutting the dry season happens, and herds move more frequently and males are less territorial. Adult males will even travel with the female and juvenile herds in search of food and water. Female Impalas give birth in isolation, and will return to the herd after a day or two. Her calf will join a nursery group along with other young Impalas and will return to its mother to feed.

Female Impala, taken at MCZ
One rather interesting fact about the Impala is that it has a varied, adaptable diet. They are able to both graze and browse, and feed on numerous types of grasses, leaves, and seeds. This allows them to obtain a  nutritious diet throughout the wet and dry seasons, and keeps them from having to undergo the migrations that many other African mammals do.

Overall, Impalas are abundant and have a stable population trend. However, one subspecies, the Black-Faced Impala, is in pretty bad shape. Most are found in Namibia's Etosha National Park, where they are protected. Their numbers have been steadily growing, but interbreeding with Common Impalas has impacted their gene pool.


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe