One of the largest antelopes, the greater kudu is a rich brown colour with white stripes. Males have spiral horns over a metre long and a beard under the chin.
Meaning of scientific name
Tragelaphus': from Tragos (Greek) a male goat;.elaphos (Greek) a deer (together meaning an antelope). 'strepsiceros' from Strepho (Greek) I twist; keras (Greek) horn.
Up to 15 years.
190-250cm long with a tail of 37-48cm and standing 100-150cm tall at the shoulder.
A large spiral-horned antelope with a reddish brown coat (greyer in adult males) and 6-10 white stripes on the flanks, white markings between the eyes, white cheek spots and a mane of hair running from the neck down the entire back. Tail has white underside. Males have two very large spiral horns, averaging 120cm in length and a beard under the chin.
Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.
Woodland, especially in hilly areas.
Leaves, fruit and some grass.
Kudu are found in shrubby wooded savannah, slightly more open than their smaller cousins the bushbuck. They live in small herds of 1-3 females and their young, which occasionally come to gather to form temporary larger herds. Males live in bachelor groups which are slightly larger, and have exclusive territories which overlap those of several female groups.
Males and females only associate during the breeding season, immediately after the rains. Gestation is 9 months, so calves are born during the rainy season. Females have a single calf which remains hidden for 2 weeks with the mother only returning to nurse it and then join the herd. Weaning occurs at about 6 months, and males remain with the mother's herd until they are 1.5-2 years old and reach maturity when they are about 5. Female calves remain in the herd all their life and are sexually mature at 3 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 antelope' like the kudu are closely related.