Gazelle vs. Antelope

Gazelle vs. Antelope

Gazelle and antelope are types of hoofed mammals that belong to the bovid family. All members of the bovid family that are not classified as sheep, cattle, buffalo, bison or goat, are known as antelopes. There are 91 species of antelope, 13 of which are members of the genus Gazella, better known as gazelles. Antelopes and gazelles are native to Africa and Asia. 72 of 91 described species of antelopes inhabit savannas, mountains, deserts, open plains and forests of Africa. Many species of antelope and gazelle are on the list of endangered species due to uncontrolled hunting (because of the meat, horns and skin), habitat destruction and competition for food with cattle. Antelopes and gazelles are symbol of beauty, agility and speed. They differ in:

Size

Gazelles are much smaller than antelopes. Majority of gazelles grow to the height of 2 to 3.5 feet and reach around 66 pounds of weight. Unlike gazelles, antelopes can reach 5 feet in height and up to 1200 pounds of weight.

Horns

Gazelles and antelopes have hollow horns that last their entire life. Gazelles of both gender have horns (males can be recognized by larger horns). They are broad at the base, slightly curved backwards, covered with black rings and sharply pointed. Unlike in gazelles, females of only few antelope species have horns. Antelopes (males) have lyra- or S-shaped, spiral or ringed, small or large horns, depending on the species.

Color of the body

Gazelles are usually light, yellowish-tan colored. Color of the body matches with the color of the environment and provides camouflage. Gazelles have white rump that is clearly visible when animal tries to escape from the predator. Gazelle jumps into the air and exposes its white rump when it senses danger. That way it alerts other members of the group about potential predators in that area. Antelopes are usually brown colored on dorsal side of the body and white colored on the ventral side. Some antelopes are covered with grey, black and white, zebra-like stripes, while others have black or grey body and white face.

Stotting

Gazelles are known for stotting. When predator approaches close enough, gazelle leaps vertically in the air, arches its back and stiffens its legs. By doing so, gazelle shows its fitness and ability to escape from a danger (this is just one of many potential explanations of this unusual behavior).

Speed

Gazelle is much faster than an antelope. Fastest antelope can accelerate to the speed of 35 miles per hour, while gazelle can reach the speed of 60 miles per hour.

Lifespan

Gazelles can survive 10 to 12 years in the wild, while antelopes can survive bit longer - 10 to 25 years.

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