A member of the spiral-horned antelopes with a chocolaty coat. Lives in dense vegetation, often near water, and browses vegetation at night.
Meaning of scientific name
Tragelaphus': from Tragos (Greek) a male goat;.elaphos (Greek) a deer (together meaning an antelope). 'scriptus' from Scriptum (Latin) something written (its white markings look like writing).
Males are 115-145cm long (females 110-130cm) with a 20-24cm tail.
A stout-bodied antelope with a short coat in chestnut or dark brown. Some white body stripes, sometimes reduced to a few spots, a black band between the eyes and muzzle, white spots on the cheeks and white patch on throat. Males are darker than females and have a pair of straight horns which have one spiral in them by the time they reach full size at about 50cm long.
Densely covered areas across sub-Saharan Africa.
Leaves, twigs and flowers with occasional grass.
Bushbuck pick out the best vegetation from shrubs, living in woodland where there is plenty of cover. They live in small herds, usually made up of females and their young or are solitary. They are not aggressive, and so can form loose aggregations. Bushbuck are mostly nocturnal, and spend the day in close cover, often near water. They are good swimmers.
Breeding occurs throughout the year, particularly after rains. After gestation of 180 days, the female gives birth to a single calf. The calf remains hidden in undergrowth for up to four months, after which it follows its mother out into the open. Sexual maturity is reached at one year, but the males' horns don't develop fully until they are three.
Not threatened, and in some areas their numbers are controlled.
The first artiodactyls (also called the 'even-toed ungulates') were present in the Eocene forests. The horned ruminants (deer, giraffe, antelope & cattle) first appear in the Miocene, taking advantage of the opening plains. Cattle and the spiral-horned antelopes like the kudu are closely related.