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The waterbuck

21 November 2013

 

www.leopard.tvThe waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus is one of five species of the genus Kobus. There are 12 subspecies of waterbuck in Africa and the southern African subspecies is Kobus ellipsiprymnus ellipsiprymnus. The waterbuck was first described scientifically as Antilope ellipsiprymna by W Ogilby in 1833 based on a mounted specimen in the collection of A Steedman that came from the upper Notwani River near Gaborone in Botswana. As Antilope only occurs in India, the genus was renamed Kobus by A Smith in 1840.

In adults, the bulls have a shoulder height of 1.2 m and a weight of 250 to 270 kg, and 1.1 m and 180 kg in cows. The woolly coat’s colour varies from dark to greyish brown and the bulls are darker than the cows. Only the southern waterbuck has a white crescent around the rump. The tail is long and has a black tuft, while the ears are short and rounded. The adult cows have a rudimentary horn as a bony hump on the top of the skull, but they rarely carry full horns. The horns of adult bulls are ringed for the first 75% of their length from the skull and appear at seven months of age. The calves are reddish-brown. The coat of an adult waterbuck is... (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, pp 697 – 698

Skinner, J D and C T Chimimba (eds) 2005. The mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 629 – 632.

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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