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Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus


The roan antelope is a large antelope with a horse-like build. It is the largest antelope in the genus Hippotragus. The roan antelope stands 135–160 centimetres (53–63 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 230–320 kilograms (510–710 lb). The head-and-body length is typically between 235 and 285 centimetres (93 and 112 in). The dark tail, terminating in a black tuft, measures 54 centimetres (21 in). Characteristic features include a short and erect mane of greyish brown hair extending from the back of the neck along the midline of the back up to the rump, white patches around the eyes and the mouth on the otherwise black face, and long, narrow ears with 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) long tufts. The long legs are supported by large hooves and false hooves.

The short, smooth coat is brown to amber. The ventral parts are yellow to white, while the neck and the mane are grey to black. The sable antelope is notably darker; it has a brownish black coat.

Fun Facts

Roan antelope are found in woodland and grassland savanna, mainly in the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, which range in tree density from forest with a grassy understorey (such as central Zambezian Miombo woodlands) to grasslands dotted with few trees, where they eat midlength grasses. They form harem groups of five to 15 animals with a dominant male. Roan antelope commonly fight among themselves for dominance of their herd, brandishing their horns while both animals are on their knees.


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