Common elands are spiral-horned antelopes. They are sexually dimorphic, with females being smaller than the males. Females weigh 300–600 kg (660–1,320 lb), measure 200–280 cm (79–110 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 125–153 cm (49–60 in) at the shoulder. Bulls weigh 400–942 kg (882–2,077 lb), are 240–345 cm (94–136 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 150–183 cm (59–72 in) at the shoulder. The tail is 50–90 cm (20–35 in) long. Male elands can weigh up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).

Their coat differs geographically, with elands in north Africa having distinctive markings (torso stripes, markings on legs, dark garters and a spinal crest) that are absent in the south. Apart from a rough mane, the coat is smooth. Females have a tan coat, while the coats of males are darker, with a bluish-grey tinge. Bulls may also have a series of vertical white stripes on their sides (mainly in parts of the Karoo in South Africa). As males age, their coat becomes more grey. Males also have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap on their throats.

 

Both sexes have horns with a steady spiral ridge (resembling that of the bushbuck). The horns are visible as small buds in newborns and grow rapidly during the first seven months. The horns of males are thicker and shorter than those of females (males' horns are 43–66 centimetres (17–26 in) long and females' are 51–69 centimetres (20–27 in) long), and have a tighter spiral. Males use their horns during rutting season to wrestle and butt heads with rivals, while females use their horns to protect their young from predators.

The common eland (Taurotragus oryx), also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa.The common eland is the slowest antelope, with a peak speed of 40 kilometres (25 mi) per hour that tires them quickly. However, they can maintain a 22 kilometres (14 mi) per hour trot indefinitely. Elands are capable of jumping up to 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) from a standing start when startled (up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) for young elands). The common eland's life expectancy is generally between 15 and 20 years; in captivity some live up to 25 years.

 

Eland herds are accompanied by a loud clicking sound that has been subject to considerable speculation. It is believed that the weight of the animal causes the two halves of its hooves to splay apart, and the clicking is the result of the hoof snapping together when the animal raises its leg. The sound carries some distance from a herd, and may be a form of communication.

 

*information courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_eland

Eland

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