Gazelle

A gazelle is any of many antelope species in the genus Gazella. This article also deals with the six species included in two further genera, Eudorcas and Nanger, which were formerly considered subgenera of Gazella. A third former subgenus, Procapra, includes three living species of Asian gazelles.

Gazelles are known as swift animals. Some are able to run at bursts as high as 100 km/h (60 mph) or run at a sustained speed of 50 km/h (30 mph).[1] Gazelles are found mostly in the deserts, grasslands, and savannas of Africa; but they are also found in southwest and central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. They tend to live in herds, and eat less coarse, easily digestible plants and leaves.

Gazelles are relatively small antelopes, most standing 60–110 cm (2–3.5 ft) high at the shoulder, and are generally fawn-colored.

The gazelle genera are Gazella, Eudorcas, and Nanger. The taxonomy of these genera is confused, and the classification of species and subspecies has been an unsettled issue. Currently, the genus Gazella is widely considered to contain about 10 species.[2] Four further species are extinct: the red gazelle, the Arabian gazelle, the Queen of Sheba's gazelle, and the Saudi gazelle. Most surviving gazelle species are considered threatened to varying degrees. Closely related to the true gazelles are the Tibetan and Mongolian gazelles (species of the genus Procapra), the blackbuck of Asia, and the African springbok.

One widely familiar gazelle is the African species Thomson's gazelle (Eudorcas thomsoni), which is around 60 to 80 cm (24 to 31 in) in height at the shoulder and is coloured brown and white with a distinguishing black stripe. The males have long, often curved, horns. Like many other prey species, Tommies and springboks (as they are familiarly called) exhibit a distinctive behaviour of stotting (running and jumping high before fleeing) when they are threatened by predators, such as cheetahs, lions, African wild dogs, crocodiles, hyenas, and leopards.

Gazelle
Temporal range: Pliocene to recent
Slender-horned gazelle (Cincinnati Zoo)
Rhim gazelle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Antilopinae
Tribe: Antilopini
Genus: Gazella
Blainville, 1816
Species

Several, see text

Etymology and name

Mosaic of a gazelle Ceasarea israel
Byzantine-era mosaic of gazelle in Caesarea, Israel

Gazelle is derived from Arabic: غزالġazāl,[3] Maghrebi pronunciation ġazēl.[4] To Europe it first came to Old Spanish and Old French,[4] and then around 1600 the word entered the English language.[5] The Arab people traditionally hunted the gazelle. Appreciated for its grace, it is a symbol most commonly associated in Arabic and Persian literature with female beauty.[6] In many countries in Northwestern Sub-Saharan Africa, the gazelle is commonly referred to as “dangelo,” meaning “swift deer.” The origins of this word date back to somewhere in between 600 and 650 B.C.E., found in roots of the Indo-European language family.

Poetry

One of the traditional themes of Arabic love poetry involves comparing the gazelle with the beloved, and linguists theorize ghazal, the word for love poetry in Arabic, is related to the word for gazelle.[7] It is related that the Caliph Abd al-Malik (646–705) freed a gazelle that he had captured because of her resemblance to his beloved:

O likeness of Layla, never fear!
For I am your friend, today, O wild deer!
Then I say, after freeing her from her fetters:
You are free for the sake of Layla, for ever![7]

The theme is found in the ancient Hebrew Song of Songs. (8:14)

Come away, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the spice-laden mountains.

Species

The gazelles are divided into three genera and numerous species.[8]

Genus Common and binomial names Image Range
Gazella Arabian gazelle
G. arabica
The book of antelopes (1894) Gazella arabica Arabian Peninsula
Cuvier's gazelle
G. cuvieri
Cuvier's Gazelle Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia
Dorcas gazelle
G. dorcas
Gazella dorcas, Israel North and saharan Africa, Sinai and Israel
Goitered gazelle
G. subgutturosa
Gazella subgutturosa 2018 Northern Azerbaijan, eastern Georgia, part of Iran, parts of Iraq and southwestern Pakistan, southeastern Turkey, Afghanistan and the Gobi Desert
Arabian sand gazelle
G. marica
Sand gazelle (gazella subgutturosa marica) Syrian Desert and Arabian Desert
Chinkara or
Indian gazelle
G. bennettii
Indian Gazelle (Male) Iran, Pakistan and India
Mountain gazelle
G. gazella
Gazella gazella Israel, the Golan Heights, and Turkey
Rhim gazelle
G. leptoceros
Slender-horned gazelle (Cincinnati Zoo) Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan
Speke's gazelle
G. spekei
Speke's Gazelle - Gazella spekei Horn of Africa
Neumann's gazelle
G. erlangeri
Arabian Peninsula
Saudi gazelle
G. saudiya[9][10]
Arabian Peninsula
Eudorcas Mongalla gazelle
E. albonotata
Eudorcas albonotata head Floodplain and savanna of South Sudan
Red-fronted gazelle
E. rufifrons
Gazella rufifrons AB The Sahel region of central Africa
Red gazelle
E. rufina
Eudorcas rufina Mountain areas of North Africa
Thomson's gazelle
E. thomsonii
Eat228 East Africa
Nanger Dama gazelle
N. dama
MhorrGazelleza Sahara desert and the Sahel
Grant's gazelle
N. granti
Ngorongoro Grant-Gazelle Northern Tanzania to South Sudan and Ethiopia, and from the Kenyan coast to Lake Victoria
Soemmerring's gazelle
N. soemmerringii
Soemmerring's Gazelle, St. Louis Zoo Horn of Africa

† = extinct

Prehistoric extinctions

Fossils of genus Gazella are found in Pliocene and Pleistocene deposits of Eurasia and Africa. The tiny Gazella borbonica is one of the earliest European gazelles, characterized by its small size and short legs. Gazelles disappeared from Europe at the start of the Ice Age, but they survived in Africa and Middle East.

  • Genus Gazella
  • Subgenus Vetagazella
    • Gazella sinensis
    • Gazella deperdita
    • Gazella pilgrimi - steppe gazelle
    • Gazella leile - Leile's gazelle
    • Gazella praegaudryi - Japanese gazelle
    • Gazella gaudryi
    • Gazella paotehensis
    • Gazella dorcadoides
    • Gazella altidens
    • Gazella mongolica
    • Gazella lydekkeri - Ice Age gazelle
    • Gazella blacki
    • Gazella parasinensis
    • Gazella kueitensis
    • Gazella paragutturosa
  • Subgenus Gazella
    • Gazella janenschi
  • Subgenus Trachelocele
    • Gazella atlantica
    • Gazella tingitana
  • Subgenus Deprezia
  • Genus Nanger
    • Nanger vanhoepeni

Gallery

Cuvier's Gazelle

Cuvier's gazelle (female)

Gazella spekei (Speke's Gazelle)

Speke's gazelle (female)

Group of Gazella subgutturosa

Goitered gazelle (females and young)

Chinkara

Chinkara (female)

Gazella-dorcas

Dorcas gazelle (female)

Granada Alhambra gazelle Poterie 9019

Gazelles on one of the vases made for the Alhambra palace

References

  1. ^ "Gazelle". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2007, Columbia University Press.
  2. ^ Eva Verena Bärmann; et al. (2013), "The curious case of Gazella arabica", Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 78 (3): 220–225, doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2012.07.003
  3. ^ Skeat, Walter W. (1910). "gazelle". An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 236.
  4. ^ a b "gazelle". CNRTL.
  5. ^ Merriam-Webster - Gazelle, Accessed: 22 December 2009
  6. ^ Behrens-billAbouseif, Doris (1999). Beauty in Arabic culture (Illustrated ed.). Markus Wiener Publishers. p. 53. ISBN 9781558761995.
  7. ^ a b Necipoğlu, Gülru (1997). Gülru Necipoğlu, ed. Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World (Illustrated ed.). BRILL. ISBN 9789004108721.
  8. ^ "Antilopinae". Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  9. ^ Participants at 4th International Conservation Workshop for the Threatened Fauna of Arabi 2003. Gazella saudiya. In: IUCN 2006. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 7 October 2006.
  10. ^ IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Gazella saudiya. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 December 2008.
  11. ^ Geraads, D.; et al. (2012). "Pliocene Bovidae (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation of Hadar and Ledi-Geraru, Lower Awash, Ethiopia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 32 (1): 180–197. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.632046.

External links

  • Quotations related to Gazelles at Wikiquote
1978 British Army Gazelle downing

On 17 February 1978, a British Army Gazelle helicopter, serial number XX404, went down near Jonesborough, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, after being fired at by a Provisional IRA unit from the South Armagh Brigade. The IRA unit was involved in a gun battle with a Green Jackets observation post deployed in the area, and the helicopter was sent in to support the ground troops. The helicopter crashed after the pilot lost control of the aircraft whilst evading ground fire.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Douglas Corden-Lloyd, 2nd Battalion Green Jackets commanding officer, died in the crash. The incident was overshadowed by the La Mon restaurant bombing, which took place just hours later near Belfast.

Army Air Corps (United Kingdom)

The Army Air Corps (AAC) is a component of the British Army, first formed in 1942 during the Second World War by grouping the various airborne units of the British Army (which are no longer part of the AAC). Today, there are eight regiments (seven Regular Army and one Reserve) of the AAC as well as four Independent Flights and two Independent Squadrons deployed in support of British Army operations across the world. They are located in Britain, Brunei, Canada, and Germany. Some AAC squadrons provide the air assault elements of 16 Air Assault Brigade through Joint Helicopter Command.

Aérospatiale Gazelle

The Aérospatiale Gazelle (company designations SA 340, SA 341 and SA 342) is a French five-seat helicopter, commonly used for light transport, scouting and light attack duties. It is powered by a single Turbomeca Astazou turbine engine and was the first helicopter to feature a fenestron tail instead of a conventional tail rotor. It was designed by Sud Aviation, later Aérospatiale, and manufactured in France and the United Kingdom through a joint production agreement with Westland Aircraft. Further manufacturing under license was performed by SOKO in Yugoslavia and the Arab British Helicopter Company (ABHCO) in Egypt.

Since being introduced to service in 1973, the Gazelle has been procured and operated by a number of export customers. It has also participated in numerous conflicts around the world, including by Syria during the 1982 Lebanon War, by Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War in the 1990s, and by numerous participants on both sides of the 1991 Gulf War. In French service, the Gazelle has been supplemented as an attack helicopter by the larger Eurocopter Tiger, but remains in use primarily as a scout helicopter.

Bovinae

The biological subfamily Bovinae includes a diverse group of 10 genera of medium to large-sized ungulates, including domestic cattle, bison, African buffalo, the water buffalo, the yak, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is still debated, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal subgroups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include cloven hooves and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns. The largest extant bovine is the gaur.

In many countries, bovid milk and meat is used as food. Cattle are kept as livestock almost everywhere except in parts of India and Nepal where they are considered sacred by most Hindus. Bovids are used as draft animals and as riding animals. Small breeds of bovid, such as the Miniature Zebu, are kept as pets.

Chinkara

The chinkara (Gazella bennettii), also known as the Indian gazelle, is a gazelle species native to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Dama gazelle

The dama gazelle, addra gazelle, or mhorr gazelle (Nanger dama, formerly Gazella dama) is a species of gazelle. It lives in Africa in the Sahara desert and the Sahel. This critically endangered species has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss, and natural populations only remain in Chad, Mali, and Niger. Its habitat includes grassland, shrubland, semi-deserts, open savanna and mountain plateaus. Their diets includes grasses, leaves (especially Acacia leaves), shoots, and fruit.

In Niger, the dama has become a national symbol. Under the Hausa name meyna or ménas the dama appears on the badge of the Niger national football team, who are popularly called the Ménas.

Dorcas gazelle

The dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas), also known as the ariel gazelle, is a small and common gazelle. The dorcas gazelle stands about 55–65 cm (1.8-2.1 ft) at the shoulder, with a head and body length of 90–110 cm (3-3.6 ft) and a weight of 15–20 kg (33-44 lb). The numerous subspecies survive on vegetation in grassland, steppe, wadis, mountain desert and in semidesert climates of Africa and Arabia. About 35,000 - 40,000 exist in the wild. The extinct Saudi gazelle from the Arabian Peninsula has been previously considered as a subspecies of the dorcas gazelle.

Gazelle (web browser)

Gazelle was a research web browser project by Microsoft Research, first announced in early 2009. The central notion of the project was to apply operating system (OS) principles to browser construction. In particular, the browser had a secure kernel, modelled after an OS kernel, and various web sources run as separate "principals" above that, similar to user space processes in an OS. The goal of doing this was to prevent bad code from one web source to affect the rendering or processing of code from other web sources. Browser plugins are also managed as principals.Gazelle had a predecessor project, MashupOS, but with Gazelle the emphasis was on a more secure browser.By the July 2009 announcement of Google Chrome OS, Gazelle was seen as a possible alternative Microsoft architectural approach compared to Google's direction. That is, rather than the OS being reduced in role to that of a browser, the browser would be strengthened using OS principles.The Gazelle project became dormant, and ServiceOS arose as a replacement project also related to browser architectures. But by 2015, the SecureOS project was also dormant, after Microsoft decided that its new flagship browser would be Edge.

Gazelle Peninsula

The Gazelle Peninsula is a large peninsula in north-eastern New Britain, Papua New Guinea, at 4.6°S 152°E / -4.6; 152. The peninsula was named by Georg Gustav Freiherr von Schleinitz after his ship, SMS Gazelle. The Rabaul caldera is located on the tip of this peninsula.

Gerenuk

The gerenuk (; Somali: garanuug; Litocranius walleri), also known as the giraffe gazelle, is a long-necked antelope found in the Horn of Africa and the drier parts of East Africa. The sole member of the genus Litocranius, the gerenuk was first described by the naturalist Victor Brooke in 1878. It is characterised by its long, slender neck and limbs. The antelope is 80–105 centimetres (31–41 in) tall, and weighs between 28 and 52 kilograms (62 and 115 lb). Two types of colouration are clearly visible on the smooth coat: the reddish brown back or the "saddle", and the lighter flanks, fawn to buff. The horns, present only on males, are lyre-shaped. Curving backward then slightly forward, these measure 25–44 centimetres (9.8–17.3 in).

Goitered gazelle

The goitered or black-tailed gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) is a gazelle found in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, parts of Iraq and Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, India, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and in northwest China and Mongolia. The specific name, meaning "full below the throat", refers to the male having an enlargement of the neck and throat during the mating season.

Grant's gazelle

The Grant's gazelle (Nanger granti, syn. Gazella granti) is a species of gazelle distributed from northern Tanzania to South Sudan and Ethiopia, and from the Kenyan coast to Lake Victoria. Its Swahili name is swala granti. It was named for a 19th-century Scottish explorer, Lt Col Grant.

Mongalla gazelle

The Mongalla gazelle (Eudorcas albonotata) is a species of gazelle found in the floodplain and savanna of South Sudan. It was first described by British zoologist Walter Rothschild in 1903. The taxonomic status of the Mongalla gazelle is widely disputed. While some authorities consider it a full-fledged monotypic species in the genus Eudorcas, it is often considered a subspecies of Thomson's gazelle, while other authorities regard it as subspecies of the red-fronted gazelle.

The Mongalla gazelle is a medium-sized antelope. The coat is brown, while the forehead, underbelly and buttocks are completely white. There is a bright wide stripe on its lateral side, beneath which is another rufous one. Horns are present on both sexes, but the length of horns of males is double of that of females.

This gazelle inhabits flood plains and flat savanna grasslands in South Sudan, east of the Nile. Its range, however, does not reach the borders of Kenya and Uganda. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has categorised the Mongalla gazelle as Least Concern. No major threats to the survival of this gazelle stand out at present.

Przewalski's gazelle

Przewalski's gazelle (Procapra przewalskii) is a member of the family Bovidae, and in the wild, is found only in China. Once widespread, its range has declined to six populations near Qinghai Lake. The gazelle was named after Nikolai Przhevalsky, a Russian explorer who collected a specimen and brought it back to St. Petersburg in 1875.

Red-fronted gazelle

The red-fronted gazelle (Eudorcas rufifrons) is widely but unevenly distributed gazelle across the middle of Africa from Senegal to northeastern Ethiopia. It is mainly resident in the Sahel zone, a narrow cross-Africa band south of the Sahara, where it prefers arid grasslands, wooded savannas and shrubby steppes.

One authority considers Thomson's gazelle (E. thomsoni), of East Africa, a subspecies of red-fronted gazelle. The red-fronted gazelle was formerly considered a member of the genus Gazella within the subgenus Eudorcas before Eudorcas was elevated to generic status.

Rhim gazelle

The rhim gazelle or rhim (Gazella leptoceros), also known as the slender-horned gazelle, sand gazelle or Loder's gazelle, is a pale-coated gazelle with long slender horns and well adapted to desert life. It is considered an endangered species because fewer than 2500 are left in the wild. These gazelles are found in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan.

Soemmerring's gazelle

The Soemmerring's gazelle (Nanger soemmerringii, formerly Gazella soemmerringii), also known as Abyssinian mohr, is a gazelle species native to the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan). The species was described and given its binomen by German physician Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar in 1828. Three subspecies are recognized. It is no longer present in Sudan.

Since 1986, Soemmerring's gazelle has been classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Speke's gazelle

The Speke's gazelle (Gazella spekei) is the smallest of the gazelle species. It is confined to the Horn of Africa, where it inhabits stony brush, grass steppes, and semideserts. This species has been sometimes regarded as a subspecies of the Dorcas gazelle, though this is now widely disregarded. Severe habitat fragmentation means it is now impossible to assess the natural migratory or nomadic patterns of G. spekei. Its numbers are under threat, and despite an increase in population, the IUCN in 2007 announced its status had changed from vulnerable to endangered. A captive population is maintained, and the wild population exists in the lower tens of thousands. As of 2008, this gazelle is classified as endangered under the IUCN Red List.

Speke's gazelle is named after John Hanning Speke, an English explorer of Central Africa.

Thomson's gazelle

Thomson's gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii) is one of the best-known gazelles. It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson and is sometimes referred to as a "tommie". It is considered by some to be a subspecies of the red-fronted gazelle and was formerly considered a member of the genus Gazella within the subgenus Eudorcas, before Eudorcas was elevated to genus status. Thomson's gazelles can be found in numbers exceeding 550,000 in Africa and are recognized as the most common type of gazelle in East Africa. The Thomson's gazelle can reach speeds of 50–55 miles per hour (80–90 km/h). It is the fifth-fastest land animal, after the cheetah (its main predator), pronghorn, springbok, and wildebeest.

Extant Artiodactyla species

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