Impalas have a unique breeding behavior in which they synchronize their reproductive cycles. At the onset of the wet season, all female impalas give birth within a short timeframe. This synchronization process helps their calves to increase their chances for survival as there is safety in large groups.
Nonetheless, this practice also presents a challenge as numerous vulnerable young impalas become available to predators, such as the African lions as well as the Martial Eagles, who can easily take advantage of the situation. It is therefore essential for most impala calves to quickly learn how to move in sync with the herd. And they are able to do so within a few hours of being born.
Adult impalas are also highly agile, capable of leaping up to ten meters; a remarkable feat considering their body length of just over one and a half meters. When sprinting, these animals usually secrete a scent from their heel glands, which helps them maintain cohesion as a group.
In terms of their social behavior, they form three distinct types of herds, that include: all-female herds led by a single ram, bachelor herds, and family groups headed by dominant males. The female impalas usually exceed their male counterpart when it comes to their population status as there are twice as many female impalas being born each year.
Male impalas have magnificent Lyre-shaped ring horns that can grow up to 75cm in length. These horns help them to fiercely battle each other out for status and territory, with the winner earning the right to mate as well as providing security for the females and their offspring.
Interestingly, most rams advertise their status to other males through a scent gland on their foreheads, with less scent produced when the dominant male loses his rank.
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