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The red hartebeest

14 August 2014

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The red hartebeest Alcelaphus caama was first described scientifically as Antilope caama in 1803 by Geoffrey Saint-Hillaire based on sketches of a specimen that was shot in 1777 near Steynsburg in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa by R J Gordon. It was regarded as a subspecies of the hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus of East Africa for a long time but is currently regarded as a separate species. Because Antilope only occurs in India, the genetic name Alcelaphus was coined in 1816 by De Blainville.

The name caama is derived from its Khoikoi name camaa (note the different spelling). The name hartebeest is derived from its Dutch name and probably refers to the... (Become a subscriber for more)

Reference:

Skinner, J D and C T Chimimba (Eds) 2005. The mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 651 - 653.

Article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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