The African savannah is home to different species of antelopes that roams freely across its plain. One of these species is the Sable Antelope. This rotund, barrel-chested antelope with a short neck, long face, and dark mane is a sight to behold. Both males and females boast impressive ringed horns that rise vertically and curve backward.
When arching their necks and standing with their heads high and tails outstretched, these antelope look like horses. This flexed-neck position makes them appear larger than they really are. The males maintain this position even when they gallop, as the arched neck is an important manifestation of dominance.
As Sable Antelopes grow older, their skin color tends to change. Calves are usually born looking reddish-brown in color, with virtually no markings. However, as they age, the white markings tend to appear on their face, with the rest of their coats turning darker. The older the animal, the more striking the contrast. In terms of social structure, most sable antelopes live in herds that are made up of small females shepherded by a territorial male. The dominant male protects the herd and asserts his dominance over other males through displays of aggression, including fights with their horns.
Males with the best territories have the best mating success. The herds have home ranges that encompass several male territories. Once a female group wanders into a male’s territory, he tries to keep her there, especially if any females are in heat.
In some areas, breeding females give birth during a two-month period. The timing can, however, change from year to year. In terms of diet, sable antelopes feed primarily on grass, but at times, they will eat herbs and leaves from shrubs and trees. They are never found very far from water and are especially dependent upon it during the dry season.
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