Waterbuck

Latin Name
Kobus ellipsiprymnus

Class
Mammals

Order
Artiodactyla

Description

As large, powerful antelope, waterbuck can weigh nearly 700 pounds. Males sport horns atop their heads, which they employ in skirmishes with other males over territory and breeding rights. A majestic set of headgear also impresses female waterbucks, which have no need to fight, thus no need for horns. 


 

Range

Waterbucks can be found from Kenya to South Africa, west of the Rift Valley. 


Status

Waterbuck are abundant in their wild habitats. 


Habitat

These foragers occupy savannas, woodlands and grasslands with a permanent water source.


Niche

Waterbucks eat a variety of protein-rich grasses. When grass is sparse, they will eat herbs. They are preyed upon by crocodiles and cheetahs. 


Life History

Waterbucks are diurnal (active during the day). While males are usually solitary except during breeding periods, females gather in herds that can reach into the hundreds. Usually one calf is born at a time. 


Special Adaptations

One useful adaption waterbucks have to their wet lifestyle is the pungent, oily secretion in their coats serves as waterproofing.

As their name implies, waterbucks are reliant on water—they get dehydrated more easily than other antelope species and they escape predators by running into rivers or lakes. As such, waterbucks’ territory in the wild is limited to areas within a few miles of water. 



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