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THE BLUE WILDEBEEST

14 May 2013

 

Scientific Name : Connochaetes taurinus taurinus

Weight (Bull) : Between 210kg and 260kg

Weight: (Cow) : Between 170 and 220kg

Shoulder height (Bull) : 1.4m

Shoulder height (Cow) : 1.3m

The blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus taurinus is a different subspecies from the white-bearded wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus which occurs in the Serengeti. The first wildebeest fossils in Africa are 2.5 million years old. The blue wildebeest was first described scientifically by the traveller-explorer W J Burchell in 1824 based on a specimen from Klein Heuningfontein in the Vryburg district, but the generic name Connochaetes was already used by Lichtenstein in 1812 for other subspecies of wildebeest. All the blue wildebeest of South Africa are members of the subspecies Connochaetes taurinus taurinus. Johnson’s wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus johnsoni that has become extinct in Malawi had a broad white band across the muzzle just below the eyes. Some 2 percent of the wildebeest that occur in Mozambique along the Savi River show a similar white band. Cookson’s wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus cooksoni only occurs in the valley of the Luangwa River in savannas where water and shade are abundant... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

References:

Grubb, P 2005. Order Artiodactyla. In D E Wilson and D M Reeder (Eds), Mammal species of the world, third edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, p 676.

Skinner, J D and C T Chimimba (Eds) 2005. The mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 645 - 648.

article by: Prof J du P Bothma

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