A springbok is a strikingly marked and graceful gazelle tribe antelope found in the treeless and open South African plains.
Main Characteristics of Springbok
The most notable features of the springbok include:
- Curved and ringed black horns in both females and males
- Longer horns reaching a maximum of 48cms in males, while females have thinner and shorter horns
- 4 to 5.5ft or 1.2 to 1.4 meters body length
- Minimum 74cms and maximum of 89cms shoulder, which is about 29 and 35 inches
- Have a 6 to 12 inches tail length
- Weighs between 30kgs and 48kgs.
- A light underside and red-brown body-color
- A dark brown stripe on each flank separating the underside and the brown upper part
- A dark brown stripe running to the upper lip from the eyes and has a white head
- A skin flap resembling a pocket running to the tail from the central point of the back
- It has a flap that can lift when frightened or excited to make the underneath white hair stand up. This is a security feature that springboks use to warn others of any danger from predators.
- Can leap in the air up to 13ft
- Can run up to a maximum speed of 90 km/hr and can be categorized among the fastest animals on land
Springboks reside mostly in South African semi-arid and grassland areas. A dominant male with his females and young move in herds during the breeding period while non-breeding males form the bachelor herds.
Vegetation and grass form the largest diet of springboks. Depending on the season, their diet can change. For example, during water scarcity, they feed on flowers and other water-rich plants and grass during rainy seasons.
The primary predators of springboks include:
- Lions, and
The mating period of springboks is during dry seasons. Their gestation period ranges between five and six months. The springboks give birth to a single calf per pregnancy, which matures within six months.