An antelope is a member of a number of even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a wastebasket taxon (miscellaneous group) within the family Bovidae, encompassing those Old World species that are not cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, or goats; even so, antelope are generally more deer-like than other bovids. A group of antelope is called a herd.
|Blackbuck antelope of India|
|Cladistically included but traditionally excluded taxa|
The English word "antelope" first appeared in 1417 and is derived from the Old French antelop, itself derived from Medieval Latin ant(h)alopus, which in turn comes from the Byzantine Greek word anthólops, first attested in Eustathius of Antioch (circa 336), according to whom it was a fabulous animal "haunting the banks of the Euphrates, very savage, hard to catch and having long, saw-like horns capable of cutting down trees". It perhaps derives from Greek anthos (flower) and ops (eye), perhaps meaning "beautiful eye" or alluding to the animals' long eyelashes. This, however, may be a later folk etymology. The word talopus and calopus, from Latin, came to be used in heraldry. In 1607, it was first used for living, cervine animals.
The 91 species, most of which are native to Africa, occur in about 30 genera. The classification of tribes or subfamilies within Bovidae is still a matter of debate, with several alternative systems proposed.
Antelope are not a cladistic or taxonomically defined group. The term is used to describe all members of the family Bovidae that do not fall under the category of sheep, cattle, or goats. Usually, all species of the Alcelaphinae, Antilopinae, Hippotraginae, Reduncinae, Cephalophinae, many Bovinae, the grey rhebok, and the impala are called antelopes.
More species of antelope are native to Africa than to any other continent, almost exclusively in savannahs, with 20-35 species co-occurring over much of East Africa. Because savannah habitat in Africa has expanded and contracted five times over the last three million years, and the fossil record indicates this is when most extant species evolved, it is believed that isolation in refugia during contractions was a major driver of this diversification. Other species occur in Asia: the Arabian Peninsula is home to the Arabian oryx and Dorcas gazelle. India is home to the nilgai, chinkara, blackbuck, Tibetan antelope, and four-horned antelope, while Russia and Central Asia have the Tibetan antelope, and saiga.
No antelope species is native to Australasia or Antarctica, nor do any extant species occur in the Americas, though the nominate saiga subspecies occurred in North America during the Pleistocene. North America is currently home to the native pronghorn, which taxonomists do not consider a member of the antelope group, but which is locally referred to as such (e.g. Antelope Valley). In Europe, several extinct species occur in the fossil record, and the saiga was found widely during the Pleistocene but did not persist into the later Holocene, except in Russian Kalmykia and Astrakhan Oblast.
Many species of antelopes have been imported to other parts of the world, especially the United States, for exotic game hunting. With some species possessing spectacular leaping and evasive skills, individuals may escape. Texas in particular has many game ranches, as well as habitats and climates, that are very hospitable to African and Asian plains antelope species. Accordingly, wild populations of blackbuck antelope, gemsbok, and nilgai may be found in Texas.
Antelope live in a wide range of habitats. Numerically, most live in the African savannahs. However, many species are more secluded, such as the forest antelope, as well as the extreme cold-living saiga, the desert-adapted Arabian oryx, the rocky koppie-living klipspringer, and semiaquatic sitatunga.
Species living in forests, woodland, or bush tend to be sedentary, but many of the plains species undertake long migrations. These enable grass-eating species to follow the rains and thereby their food supply. The gnus and gazelles of East Africa perform some of the most impressive mass migratory circuits of all mammals.
Antelopes vary greatly in size. For example, a male common eland can measure 178 cm (70 in) at the shoulder and weigh almost 950 kg (2,090 lb), whereas an adult royal antelope may stand only 24 cm (9.4 in) at the shoulder and weigh a mere 1.5 kg (3.3 lb).
Not surprisingly for animals with long, slender yet powerful legs, many antelopes have long strides and can run fast. Some (e.g. klipspringer) are also adapted to inhabiting rock koppies and crags. Both dibatags and gerenuks habitually stand on their two hind legs to reach acacia and other tree foliage. Different antelope have different body types, which can affect movement. Duikers are short, bush-dwelling antelope that can pick through dense foliage and dive into the shadows rapidly. Gazelles and springbok are known for their speed and leaping abilities. Even larger antelope, such as nilgai, elands, and kudus, are capable of jumping 2.4 m (7.9 ft) or greater, although their running speed is restricted by their greater mass.
Antelope have a wide variety of coverings, though most have a dense coat of short fur. In most species, the coat (pelage) is some variation of a brown colour (or several shades of brown), often with white or pale underbodies. Exceptions include the zebra-marked zebra duiker, the grey, black, and white Jentink's duiker, and the black lechwe. Most of the "spiral-horned" antelopes have pale, vertical stripes on their backs. Many desert and semidesert species are particularly pale, some almost silvery or whitish (e.g. Arabian oryx); the beisa and southern oryxes have gray and black pelages with vivid black-and-white faces. Common features of various gazelles are white rumps, which flash a warning to others when they run from danger, and dark stripes midbody (the latter feature is also shared by the springbok and beira). The springbok also has a pouch of white, brushlike hairs running along its back, which opens up when the animal senses danger, causing the dorsal hairs to stand on end.
Antelope are ruminants, so have well-developed molar teeth, which grind cud (food balls stored in the stomach) into a pulp for further digestion. They have no upper incisors, but rather a hard upper gum pad, against which their lower incisors bite to tear grass stems and leaves.
Like many other herbivores, antelopes rely on keen senses to avoid predators. Their eyes are placed on the sides of their heads, giving them a broad radius of vision with minimal binocular vision. Their horizontally elongated pupils also help in this respect. Acute senses of smell and hearing give antelope the ability to perceive danger at night out in the open (when predators are often on the prowl). These same senses play an important role in contact between individuals of the same species; markings on their heads, ears, legs, and rumps are used in such communication. Many species "flash" such markings, as well as their tails; vocal communications include loud barks, whistles, "moos", and trumpeting; many species also use scent marking to define their territories or simply to maintain contact with their relatives and neighbors.
Many antelope are sexually dimorphic. In most species, both sexes have horns, but those of males tend to be larger. Males tend to be larger than the females, but exceptions in which the females tend to be heavier than the males include the bush duiker, dwarf antelope, Cape grysbok, and oribi, all rather small species. A number of species have hornless females (e.g. sitatunga, red lechwe, and suni). In some species, the males and females have differently coloured pelages (e.g. blackbuck and nyala).
The size and shape of antelope horns varies greatly. Those of the duikers and dwarf antelopes tend to be simple "spikes", but differ in the angle to the head from backward curved and backward pointing (e.g. yellow-backed duiker) to straight and upright (e.g. steenbok). Other groups have twisted (e.g. common eland), spiral (e.g. greater kudu), "recurved" (e.g. the reedbucks), lyrate (e.g. impala), or long, curved (e.g. the oryxes) horns. Horns are not shed and their bony cores are covered with a thick, persistent sheath of horny material, both of which distinguish them from antlers.
Horns are efficient weapons, and tend to be better developed in those species where males fight over females (large herd antelope) than in solitary or lekking species. With male-male competition for mates, horns are clashed in combat. Males more commonly use their horns against each other than against another species. The boss of the horns is typically arranged in such a way that two antelope striking at each other's horns cannot crack each other's skulls, making a fight via horn more ritualized than dangerous. Many species have ridges in their horns for at least two-thirds the length of their horns, but these ridges are not a direct indicator of age.
Antelope are often classified by their reproductive behavior.
Small antelope, such as dik-diks, tend to be monogamous. They live in a forest environment with patchy resources, and a male is unable to monopolize more than one female due to this sparse distribution. Larger forest species often form very small herds of two to four females and one male.
Some species, such as lechwes, pursue a lek breeding system, where the males gather on a lekking ground and compete for a small territory, while the females appraise males and choose one with which to mate.
Antelope pursue a number of defense strategies, often dictated by their morphology.
Large antelope that gather in large herds, such as wildebeest, rely on numbers and running speed for protection. In some species, adults will encircle the offspring, protecting them from predators when threatened. Many forest antelope rely on cryptic coloring and good hearing to avoid predators. Forest antelope often have very large ears and dark or striped colorations. Small antelope, especially duikers, evade predation by jumping into dense bush where the predator cannot pursue. Springboks use a behavior known as stotting to confuse predators.
Open grassland species have nowhere to hide from predators, so they tend to be fast runners. They are agile and have good endurance—these are advantages when pursued by sprint-dependent predators such as cheetahs, which are the fastest of land animals, but tire quickly. Reaction distances vary with predator species and behaviour. For example, gazelles may not flee from a lion until it is closer than 200 m (650 ft)—lions hunt as a pride or by surprise, usually by stalking; one that can be seen clearly is unlikely to attack. However, sprint-dependent cheetahs will cause gazelles to flee at a range of over 800 metres (1⁄2 mile).
About 25 species are rated by the IUCN as endangered, such as the dama gazelle and mountain nyala. A number of subspecies are also endangered, including the giant sable antelope and the mhorr gazelle. The main causes for concern for these species are habitat loss, competition with cattle for grazing, and trophy hunting.
The chiru or Tibetan antelope is hunted for its pelt, which is used in making shahtoosh wool, used in shawls. Since the fur can only be removed from dead animals, and each animal yields very little of the downy fur, several antelope must be killed to make a single shawl. This unsustainable demand has led to enormous declines in the chiru population.
The saiga is hunted for its horns, which are considered an aphrodisiac by some cultures. Only the males have horns, and have been so heavily hunted that some herds contain up to 800 females to one male. The species has shown a steep decline and is critically endangered.
It is difficult to determine how long antelope live in the wild. With the preference of predators towards old and infirm individuals, which can no longer sustain peak speeds, few wild prey-animals live as long as their biological potential. In captivity, wildebeest have lived beyond 20 years old, and impalas have reached their late teens.
The antelope's horn is prized for medicinal and magical powers in many places. The horn of the male saiga, in Eastern practice, is ground as an aphrodisiac, for which it has been hunted nearly to extinction. In the Congo, it is thought to confine spirits. Christian iconography sometimes uses the antelope's two horns as a symbol of the two spiritual weapons Christians possess: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The antelope's ability to run swiftly has also led to their association with the wind, such as in the Rig Veda, as the steeds of the Maruts and the wind god Vayu. There is, however, no scientific evidence that the horns of any antelope have any change on a human's physiology or characteristics.
In Mali, antelopes were believed to have brought the skills of agriculture to mankind.
Domestication of animals requires certain traits in the animal that antelope do not typically display. Most species are difficult to contain in any density, due to the territoriality of the males, or in the case of oryxes (which have a relatively hierarchical social structure), an aggressive disposition; they can easily kill a human. Because many have extremely good jumping abilities, providing adequate fencing is a challenge. Also, antelope will consistently display a fear response to perceived predators, such as humans, making them very difficult to herd or handle. Although antelope have diets and rapid growth rates highly suitable for domestication, this tendency to panic and their nonhierarchical social structure explains why farm-raised antelope are uncommon. Ancient Egyptians kept herds of gazelles and addax for meat, and occasionally pets. It is unknown whether they were truly domesticated, but it seems unlikely, as no domesticated gazelles exist today.
However, humans have had success taming certain species, such as the elands. These antelope sometimes jump over each other's backs when alarmed, but this incongruous talent seems to be exploited only by wild members of the species; tame elands do not take advantage of it and can be enclosed within a very low fence. Their meat, milk, and hides are all of excellent quality, and experimental eland husbandry has been going on for some years in both Ukraine and Zimbabwe. In both locations, the animal has proved wholly amenable to domestication. Similarly, European visitors to Arabia reported "tame gazelles are very common in the Asiatic countries of which the species is a native; and the poetry of these countries abounds in allusions both to the beauty and the gentleness of the gazelle." Other antelope that have been tamed successfully include the gemsbok, the kudu, and the springbok. Nor are the characteristics described above necessarily barriers to domestication; for further information, see animal domestication.
A wide variety of antelope hybrids have been recorded in zoos, game parks, and wildlife ranches, due to either a lack of more appropriate mates in enclosures shared with other species or a misidentification of species. The ease of hybridization shows how closely related some antelope species are. With few exceptions, most hybrid antelope occur only in captivity.
Most hybrids occur between species within the same genus. All reported examples occur within the same subfamily. As with most mammal hybrids, the less closely related the parents, the more likely the offspring will be sterile.
Antelopes are a common symbol in heraldry, though they occur in a highly distorted form from nature. The heraldic antelope has the body of a stag and the tail of a lion, with serrated horns, and a small tusk at the end of its snout. This bizarre and inaccurate form was invented by European heralds in the Middle Ages, who knew little of foreign animals and made up the rest. The antelope was mistakenly imagined to be a monstrous beast of prey; the 16th century poet Edmund Spenser referred to it as being "as fierce and fell as a wolf."
Antelopes can all also occur in their natural form, in which case they are termed "natural antelopes" to distinguish them from the more usual heraldic antelope. The arms previously used by the Republic of South Africa featured a natural antelope, along with an oryx.
For the GP2 Series racing team, see Addax Team.
The addax (Addax nasomaculatus), also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope, is an antelope of the genus Addax, that lives in the Sahara desert. It was first described by Henri de Blainville in 1816. As suggested by its alternative name, this pale antelope has long, twisted horns - typically 55 to 80 cm (22 to 31 in) in females and 70 to 85 cm (28 to 33 in) in males. Males stand from 105 to 115 cm (41 to 45 in) at the shoulder, with females at 95 to 110 cm (37 to 43 in). They are sexually dimorphic, as the females are smaller than males. The colour of the coat depends on the season - in the winter, it is greyish-brown with white hindquarters and legs, and long, brown hair on the head, neck, and shoulders; in the summer, the coat turns almost completely white or sandy blonde.
The addax mainly eats grasses and leaves of any available shrubs, leguminous herbs and bushes. These animals are well-adapted to exist in their desert habitat, as they can live without water for long periods of time. Addax form herds of five to 20 members, consisting of both males and females. They are led by the oldest female. Due to its slow movements, the antelope is an easy target for its predators: lions, humans, African wild dogs, cheetahs, and leopards. Breeding season is at its peak during winter and early spring. The natural habitat of the addax are arid regions, semideserts and sandy and stony deserts.
The addax is a critically endangered species of antelope, as classified by the IUCN. Although extremely rare in its native habitat due to unregulated hunting, it is quite common in captivity. The addax was once abundant in North Africa, native to Chad, Mauritania and Niger. It is extinct in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Western Sahara. It has been reintroduced in Morocco and Tunisia.Antelope Acres, California
Antelope Acres is an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, California. It lies at an elevation of 2425 feet (739 m).Antelope Acres is located in the Antelope Valley, the high desert area of northern Los Angeles County, approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) from downtown Lancaster and 64 mi (103 km) from downtown Los Angeles. The community has a population of about 2,800. It is a rural community centered south of California State Highway 138 (Avenue D) near 90th Street West.
The community has become the home to many commuters who work in nearby cities; however, it still maintains a significant agricultural presence with livestock, field crops, and a local chapter of the 4H club. It also offers an open landscape for outdoor enthusiasts.Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in the American Southwest. It is on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, scenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as "Upper Antelope Canyon" or "The Crack"; and "Lower Antelope Canyon" or "The Corkscrew".The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means 'the place where water runs through rocks'. Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí (called "Hasdestwazi" by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department), or 'spiral rock arches'. Both are in the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation. The canyons are accessible by guided tour only.Antelope Valley
Antelope Valley is located in northern Los Angeles County, California, and the southeast portion of Kern County, California, and constitutes the western tip of the Mojave Desert. It is situated between the Tehachapi and the San Gabriel Mountains. The valley was named for the pronghorns that roamed there until they were all but eliminated in the 1880s, mostly by hunting, or resettled in other areas. The principal cities in the Antelope Valley are Palmdale and Lancaster.Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a state-protected reserve of California, USA, harboring the most consistent blooms of California poppies, the state flower. The reserve is located in the rural west side of Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County, 15 miles (24 km) west of Lancaster. The reserve is at an elevation ranging from 2,600 to 3,000 feet (790 to 910 m) above sea level, in the Mojave Desert climate zone. The reserve is administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Other wildflowers within the reserve include the owl's clover, lupine, goldfields, cream cups and coreopsis.Antelope of Boston
Antelope was a medium clipper built in 1851 in Medford, near Boston, Massachusetts. She sailed in the San Francisco, China, and Far East trades, and was known for her fine finish work and for her crew's escape from pirates. She is often called Antelope of Boston to distinguish her from an extreme clipper launched in 1852, Antelope of New York.Blackbuck
The blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), also known as the Indian antelope, is an antelope found in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. The blackbuck is the sole extant member of the genus Antilope. The species was described and given its binomial name by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Two subspecies are recognized. It stands up to 74 to 84 cm (29 to 33 in) high at the shoulder. Males weigh 20–57 kg (44–126 lb), an average of 38 kilograms (84 lb). Females are lighter, weighing 20–33 kg (44–73 lb) or 27 kg (60 lb) on average. The long, ringed horns, 35–75 cm (14–30 in) long, are generally present only on males, though females may develop horns, as well. The white fur on the chin and around the eyes is in sharp contrast with the black stripes on the face. The coats of males show two-tone colouration; while the upper parts and outsides of the legs are dark brown to black, the underparts and the insides of the legs are all white. However, females and juveniles are yellowish fawn to tan.
The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day). Three kinds of groups, typically small, are the female, male, and bachelor herds. Males often adopt lekking as a strategy to garner females for mating. While other males are not allowed into these territories, females often visit these places to forage. The male can thus attempt mating with her. As herbivores, blackbuck graze on low grasses, occasionally browsing, as well. Females become sexually mature at 8 months old, but mate no earlier than 2 years. Males mature later, at 1 1/2 years. Mating takes place throughout the year. Gestation is typically 6 months long, after which a single calf is born. The lifespan is typically 10 to 15 years.
The blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas. Due to their regular need of water, they prefer areas where water is perennially available.
The antelope is native to and found mainly in India, while it is extinct in Bangladesh. Formerly widespread, only small, scattered herds are seen today, largely confined to protected areas. During the 20th century, blackbuck numbers declined sharply due to excessive hunting, deforestation, and habitat degradation. The blackbuck has been introduced in Argentina and the United States. In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The blackbuck has significance in Hinduism; Indian and Nepali villagers do not harm the antelope.Bongo (antelope)
The bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) is a herbivorous, mostly nocturnal forest ungulate. It is among the largest of the African forest antelope species.
Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiralled horns. Indeed, bongos are the only tragelaphid in which both sexes have horns. They have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics.
The western or lowland bongo, T. e. eurycerus, faces an ongoing population decline, and the IUCN Antelope Specialist Group considers it to be Near Threatened on the conservation status scale.
The eastern or mountain bongo, T. e. isaaci, of Kenya, has a coat even more vibrant than that of T. e. eurycerus. The mountain bongo is only found in the wild in one remote region of central Kenya. This bongo is classified by the IUCN Antelope Specialist Group as Critically Endangered, with more specimens in captivity than in the wild.
In 2000, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in the USA (AZA) upgraded the bongo to a Species Survival Plan participant and in 2006 added the Bongo Restoration to Mount Kenya Project to its list of the Top Ten Wildlife Conservation Success Stories of the year. However, in 2013, it seems, these successes have been negated with reports of possibly only 100 mountain bongos left in the wild due to logging and poaching.Cape bushbuck
The Cape bushbuck or imbabala (Tragelaphus sylvaticus) is a widespread species of antelope in Sub-Saharan Africa. Formerly, two species were recognized under the generic name "bushbuck"; the kéwel (Tragelaphus scriptus) and the imbabala (Tragelaphus sylvaticus). Both species are more closely related to other members of the tragelaphine family than to each other (the imbabala to the bongo and the sitatunga, and the kéwel to the nyala). Bushbuck are found in rain forests, montane forests, forest-savanna mosaics, and bush savanna forest and woodland.Caprinae
The subfamily Caprinae is part of the ruminant family Bovidae, and consists of mostly medium-sized bovids. A member of this subfamily is called a caprine. A member is also sometimes referred to as a goat-antelope, however, this term "goat-antelope" does not mean that these animals are true antelopes: a true antelope is a bovid with a cervid-like or antilocaprid-like morphology.
Within this subfamily Caprinae, a prominent tribe, Caprini, includes sheep and goats.
Some earlier taxonomies considered Caprinae a separate family called Capridae (whence a caprid), but now it is usually considered a subfamily within the family Bovidae, whence a caprine is a kind of bovid.Four-horned antelope
The four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis), or chousingha, is a small antelope found in India and Nepal. This antelope has four horns, which distinguish it from most other bovids, which have two horns (sparing a few such as the Jacob sheep). The sole member of the genus Tetracerus, the species was first described by French zoologist Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville in 1816. Three subspecies are recognised. The four-horned antelope stands nearly 55–64 centimetres (22–25 in) at the shoulder and weighs nearly 17–22 kilograms (37–49 lb). Slender with thin legs and a short tail, the four-horned antelope has a yellowish brown to reddish coat. One pair of horns is located between the ears, and the other on the forehead. The posterior horns are always longer than the anterior horns, which might be mere fur-covered studs. While the posterior horns measure 8–12 centimetres (3.1–4.7 in), the anterior ones are 2–5 centimetres (0.79–1.97 in) long.
The four-horned antelope is diurnal (active mainly during the day). Though solitary by nature, four-horned antelopes may form loose groups of three to five –with one or more adults, sometimes accompanied by juveniles. This elusive antelope feeds on grasses, herbs, shrubs, foliage, flowers and fruits. It needs to drink water frequently; as such it stays in places near water sources. The breeding behaviour of the four-horned antelope has not been well studied. The age at which they reach sexual maturity and the season when mating occurs have not been understood well. Gestation lasts about eight months, following which one or two calves are born. They are kept concealed for the first few weeks of their birth. The young remain with the mother for about a year.
Four-horned antelopes tend to inhabit areas with significant grass cover or heavy undergrowth, and avoid human settlements. Earlier common throughout deciduous forests in India, the antelope now occurs in widely disjunct, small populations. Most of the populations are in India, and lower numbers can be found in adjoining Nepal. The four-horned antelope is threatened by the loss of its natural habitat due to agricultural expansion. Moreover, the unusual four-horned skull and the horns have been a popular target for trophy hunters. The four-horned antelope is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).Lancaster, California
Lancaster is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. As of 2013, Lancaster was the 31st largest city in California. Lancaster is part of a twin city complex with its southern neighbor Palmdale and together they are the principal cities within the Antelope Valley region. Lancaster is located approximately 61 miles (98 km) north (by highway) of downtown Los Angeles, near the Kern County line. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south, and from Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley by the Tehachapi Mountains to the north. The population of Lancaster grew from 37,000 at the time of its incorporation in 1977 to over 156,000 in 2010. According to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance report of 2015, Lancaster has a population of 168,049.Palmdale, California
Palmdale is a city in northern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. The city lies in the Antelope Valley region of Southern California. The San Gabriel Mountains separate Palmdale from the city of Los Angeles to the south.
On August 24, 1962, Palmdale became the first community in the Antelope Valley to incorporate. Forty seven years later, in November 2009, voters approved making it a charter city. Palmdale's population was 152,750 at the 2010 census, up from 116,670 at the 2000 census. Palmdale is the 33rd most populous city in California. Together with its immediate northern neighbor of the city of Lancaster, the Palmdale/Lancaster urban area had an estimated population of 513,547 as of 2013.Pronghorn
The pronghorn (UK: , US: ) (Antilocapra americana) is a species of artiodactyl mammal indigenous to interior western and central North America. Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the American antelope, prong buck, pronghorn antelope, prairie antelope, or simply antelope because it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World and fills a similar ecological niche due to parallel evolution.It is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae. During the Pleistocene epoch, about 12 antilocaprid species existed in North America. Three other genera (Capromeryx, Stockoceros and Tetrameryx) existed when humans entered North America but are now extinct.
As a member of the superfamily Giraffoidea, the pronghorn's closest living relatives are the giraffes and okapi. The Giraffoidea are in turn members of the infraorder Pecora, making pronghorns more distant relatives of the Cervidae (deer) and Bovidae (cattle, goats, sheep, antelopes, and gazelles), among others.Roan antelope
The roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) is a savanna antelope found in West, Central, East and Southern Africa. It is the namesake of the Chevaline project, whose name was taken from the French Antilope Chevaline.Roan antelope are one of the largest species of antelopes, only Elands, Bongos and large male Kudus can exceed them in weight. They measure 190–240 cm (75–94 in) from the head to the base of tail and the tail measures 37–48 cm (15–19 in). The body mass of males is 242–300 kg (534–661 lb) and of females is 223–280 kg (492–617 lb). The shoulder of this species is typically around 130–140 cm (51–55 in). Named for their roan colour (a reddish brown), they have lighter underbellies, white eyebrows and cheeks and black faces, lighter in females. They have short, erect manes, very light beards and prominent red nostrils. The horns are ringed and can reach a metre long in males, slightly shorter in females. They arch backwards slightly.
They are similar in appearance to sable antelope and can be confused where their ranges overlap. Sable antelope males are darker, being black rather than dark brown.
Roan antelope are found in woodland and grassland savanna, mainly in the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, which range in tree density from forest with a grassy understorey (such as central Zambezian Miombo woodlands) to grasslands dotted with few trees, where they eat midlength grasses. They form harem groups of five to 15 animals with a dominant male. Roan antelope commonly fight among themselves for dominance of their herd, brandishing their horns while both animals are on their knees.Sable antelope
The sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) is an antelope which inhabits wooded savannah in East Africa south of Kenya, and in Southern Africa, with a population in Angola.Saiga antelope
The saiga antelope (, Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered antelope that originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia.
They also lived in Beringian North America during the Pleistocene. Today, the dominant subspecies (S. t. tatarica) is only found in one location in Russia (in the Republic of Kalmykia and Astrakhan Oblast) and three areas in Kazakhstan (the Ural, Ustiurt, and Betpak-Dala populations). A proportion of the Ustiurt population migrates south to Uzbekistan and occasionally Turkmenistan in winter. It is extinct in the People's Republic of China and southwestern Mongolia. It was hunted extensively in Romania and Moldova until it became extinct in those regions at the end of the 18th century. The Mongolian subspecies (S. t. mongolica) is found only in western Mongolia.Springbok
The springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a medium-sized antelope found mainly in southern and southwestern Africa. The sole member of the genus Antidorcas, this bovid was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. Three subspecies are identified. A slender, long-legged antelope, the springbok reaches 71 to 86 cm (28 to 34 in) at the shoulder and weighs between 27 and 42 kg (60 and 93 lb). Both sexes have a pair of black, 35-to-50 cm (14-to-20 in) long horns that curve backwards. The springbok is characterised by a white face, a dark stripe running from the eyes to the mouth, a light-brown coat marked by a reddish-brown stripe that runs from the upper fore leg to the buttocks across the flanks like the Thomson's gazelle, and a white rump flap.
Active mainly at dawn and dusk, springbok form harems (mixed-sex herds). In earlier times, springbok of the Kalahari desert and Karoo migrated in large numbers across the countryside, a practice known as trekbokken. A feature unique to the springbok is pronking, in which the springbok performs multiple leaps into the air, up to 2 m (6.6 ft) above the ground, in a stiff-legged posture, with the back bowed and the white flap lifted. Primarily a browser, the springbok feeds on shrubs and succulents; this antelope can live without drinking water for years, meeting its requirements through eating succulent vegetation. Breeding takes place year-round, and peaks in the rainy season, when forage is most abundant. A single calf is born after a five- to six-month-long pregnancy; weaning occurs at nearly six months of age, and the calf leaves its mother a few months later.
Springbok inhabit the dry areas of south and southwestern Africa. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources classifies the springbok as a least concern species. No major threats to the long-term survival of the species are known; the springbok, in fact, is one of the few antelope species considered to have an expanding population. They are popular game animals, and are valued for their meat and skin. The springbok is the national animal of South Africa.Tibetan antelope
The Tibetan antelope or chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) (Tibetan: གཙོད་, Wylie: gtsod, pronounced [tsǿ]; Chinese: 藏羚羊; pinyin: zànglíngyáng) is a medium-sized bovid native to the Tibetan plateau. Fewer than 150,000 mature individuals are left in the wild, but the population is currently thought to be increasing. In 1980s and 1990s, they had become endangered due to massive illegal poaching. They are hunted for their extremely soft, light and warm underfur which is usually obtained after death. This underfur, known as shahtoosh (a Persian word meaning "king of fine wools") , is used to weave luxury shawls in Jammu and Kashmir, northern India. Shahtoosh shawls were traditionally given as wedding gifts in India and it takes the underfur of 3-5 adult antelopes to make one shawl. Despite strict controls on trade of shahtoosh products and CITES listing, there is still demand for these luxury items. Within India, shawls are worth $1,000-$5,000, internationally the price can reach as high as $20,000.