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Antelope Dik-dik

Kirk’s dik-dik antelope (Madoqua kirkii) is a small artiodactyla mammal that lives in the eastern and southwestern areas of Africa. Its peculiar name is due to the movement it makes when it feels it is in danger. They run quickly in a zig-zag fashion, reaching speeds of more than 25 miles per hour. They flee from predators such as cheetahs, leopards, and eagles.

Scientific name:

Madoqua kirkii

Species:

Madoqua kirkii

Family:

Bovidae

Order:

Artiodactyla

Class:

Mammals

Diet

Herbivore

Pregnancy

From 5 to 6 months

Number of puppies

1

Lifespan

Approximately 17 years

Weight

Up to 15,5 pounds

Size

average of 28 inches long

Is the dik-dik antelope one of the smallest in the world?

This animal reaches 28 inches in length and 16 inches in height and it can weigh up to 15.5 pounds as an adult. Therefore, it is considered to be one of the smallest antelopes in the world.

Habitat of the dik-dik

 Its habitat is in arid areas with thick, dense bushes and hills. They are found in eastern Africa (Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania) and southern Africa (Namibia and Angola). This antelope is accustomed to living in dry terrain, so it does not need much water. In addition, it very territorial and lives with a single partner and their young. The young leave the group at an early age, when they are approximately seven months old.

 

Diet of the dik-dik 

 The dik-dik antelope’s diet is based on vegetation, including the leaves of bushes, scrub, shoots, herbs, and fruit. It eats two times per day: early in the morning and at dusk. In spite of its small size, it has very high metabolic needs. Timid and evasive by nature, it takes advantage of its size to hide among bushes.

 

Fun facts about the dik-dik

 Contrary to the majority of ruminants, dik-dik young are born with their forelegs bent, instead of extended. In regards to physical differences, this species is sexually dimorphic: males have straight, ribbed horns and females do not. As said above, they are very territorial animals and can live in the same area for years. In fact, they mark their territory with a process called the “defecation ceremony,” which both males and females participate in in order to delineate their zone. 

 

 

Degree of threat


Location


You can find me in this area of the park.

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Habitat


Arid areas of southeastern Africa.