A shy reddish-brown antelope with distinctive white stripes and large ears. The males have impressive spiral horns.
Meaning of scientific name
Tragelaphus': from Tragos (Greek) a male goat;.elaphos (Greek) a deer (together meaning an antelope). 'imberbis': (Latin) unbearded: a reference to the absence of the beard found in greater kudus.
Up to 15 years.
160-175cm long with a 26-30cm tail and standing 90 to 110cm at the shoulder.
A spiral-horned antelope with a rich reddish brown coat and 11-14 distinctive white stripes on the flanks, white marking between the eyes, two white patches on the neck, large ears and a bushy tail. The male is often a slightly more grey colour, and has a short upright mane and two 60-90cm long horns with 2-3 large open spirals.
Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and North and Central Tanzania.
Scrubby savannah and woodland.
Leaves, grasses and fruit.
Kudu are found in shrubby wooded savannah, slightly more open than their smaller cousins the bushbuck. They live in small herds of 2-5 (although up to 24) individuals, usually made up of females and their young. Older males are often solitary. Individuals have quite large home ranges - males usually larger than females. Lesser kudu are mainly active at night, and are very shy animals, hiding in vegetation and fleeing if disturbed, with its tail upright to show off a white underside.
Breeding occurs at any time of the year, and after a gestation period of 8 months a single calf is born. The calf lies hidden in vegetation with the mother returning to nurse it. Weaning occurs at around 6 months and sexual maturity is reached after 15 months, although males will not be fully mature until they are 4-5 years old.
Listed as 'Lower risk - Conservation dependent'.
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.