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An antelope is a hoofed mammal that belongs to the Bovidae family and looks like a deer. It is commonly found in Africa, Asia, North America, and the Middle East.
See the fact file below for more information on the antelope or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Antelope worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Etymology and Distribution
- The name antelope has multiple origins: from the Old French word antelop, the Medieval Latin antalopus, and the Greek word antholops, referring to an elusive horned animal along the banks of Euphrates.
- It is also believed to come from the Greek words anthos and ops, meaning flower and eye respectively.
- Antelopes are considered the wastebasket group in the bovine family, which include cows, goats, and sheep, among others.
- They form the miscellaneous category that do not pass as cows, sheep, deer, cattle, goats, buffalos, and bison.
- There are over 90 species of antelope.
- Most of those species are found in Africa and Asia.
- Around 25 species are endangered.
- There is no antelope species native to Australia.
- Examples of antelopes are the impala, oryx, gazelle, klipspringer, eland, waterbuck, springbok, and wildebeest.
- Antelopes typically inhabit grasslands, woodlands, savannahs, deserts, plains, and swamps, depending on the species.
- The impala, for instance, lives in the woodlands, while the wildebeest lives in the grasslands.
- Just like most mammals, antelopes are warm-blooded, have fur, and have live births.
- All antelopes are even-toed: their hooves are divided into two toes.
- Antelopes have horizontal pupils.
- An antelope’s hooves are at times specialized depending on the antelope’s habitat.
- The hooves of antelopes living in the desert are flat while those of antelopes that climb are suction-like.
- All male antelopes have horns.
- Female antelopes don’t have horns except for the big species like Eland.
- The horns of antelopes come in different shapes and sizes.
- Their horns can be curved, pointed, spiraled, straight, long, or short.
- The horns of antelopes function as protection from predators and against other antelopes during mating season.
- Their horns are very bony and made of keratin.
- Some species have horns that can grow up to 5 feet.
- Some species have four horns, particularly the Asian ones.
- Just like cows, antelopes are ruminants, or cud-chewers, meaning their stomachs allow them to re-chew their food.
- Unlike deers, antelopes keep their horns and grow them continuously.
- Antelopes make a wide range of sounds – from moo sounds like that of cows to whistles and barks.
- Male antelopes are known as bucks.
- Female antelopes are known as does.
- Young antelopes are known as calves.
- Calves are usually born one at a time. On rare occasions it can be two.
- The mating season is called a rut.
- Bucks fight to mate with does.
- Males can get territorial and claim their mates by way of overlapping territories.
- There are species that fight for their mates in a courtship arena that they make for themselves called a lek.
- The gestation period lasts for four to nine months.
- Female antelopes protect their offspring by hiding them in bushes or long shrubs until they’re mature enough to join a herd.
- The Eland antelope is the biggest antelope, which can grow up to 6 feet and weigh up to 1,450 pounds.
- The Eland is also the slowest antelope.
- The Royal antelope is the smallest antelope, which can grow up to 12 inches tall.
- The impala is the second fastest mammal next to the cheetah.
- The pronghorn antelope in Mexico is not considered an antelope because it sheds its antlers unlike other antelopes. It is called an antelope because it is a native of Antelope Valley.
- Kudu antelopes have spiraled horns.
- Impala antelopes have ridged horns.
- The wildebeest antelope has curved and pointed antlers.
- The klipspringer antelope climbs steep and rocky mountains so it has padded hooves that are suction-like to help it do so.
- The duiker gets its name from Afrikaans word “duiken” meaning “to dive”. This species dives into vegetation to escape their predators.
- A group of antelopes is known as a herd.
- Antelopes can be very social. The wildebeests, for example, migrate in herds of thousands.
- Antelopes are herbivores, which means they only eat plants, seeds, and grass.
- They are smart in looking for food.
- They look for good grass to graze on by following the patterns of rains.
- An antelope will sometimes follow zebras to find tender grass because zebras tend to eat the tougher parts of the grassland.
- Antelopes that are big enough to stand up on their hind legs eat leaves from trees.
- Some species like the duiker antelope eat bugs and tiny birds.
- Common predators of antelopes are lions, crocodiles, cheetahs, leopards, pythons, and hyenas.
- Their horizontal pupils and heightened senses make for a good defense to spot and escape their predators.
- The defense mechanisms of antelopes depend on the species.
- Small antelopes hide from their predators.
- Gazelles run for their lives.
- Springboks pronk and leap in the air.
- Other species stot or bounce.
- Some use their keen sense of hearing.
- Antelopes are typically found in herds.
- If food is scarce, antelopes tend to live alone.
- Antelopes are endangered because of habitat loss, poaching, hunting, and competition with domestic herds.
- Antelopes have been imported to the US primarily for exotic game hunting.
- The average lifespan of antelopes is eight to ten years in the wild and twenty years in captivity.
- Antelopes are heraldic symbols.
- In Christianity, the horns of an antelope signify the Old Testament and the New Testament.
- Antelopes don’t make the best pets because it’s difficult to tame them.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about antelope across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Antelope worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the antelope which is a hoofed mammal that belongs to the Bovidae family and looks like a deer. It is commonly found in Africa, Asia, North America, and the Middle East.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Antelope Facts
- My Antelope Drawing
- Describe Me!
- That’s An Antelope!
- Name the Antelope
- All About the Horn
- Antelope or Nope
- Home of the Antelope
- Species Crossword
- Five Favorite Facts
- Antelope Acrostics
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Link will appear as Antelope Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 20, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.