Critter Science

The Science of Animals


Hey Hartebeest, Why the Long Face?

The hartebeest is a large species of antelope found in sub-Saharan Africa. They once ranged from Northern Africa and the Middle East through the savannas and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa and South-Central Africa, on down to the South African tip. Thanks to ever increasing agricultural needs, their populations are decreasing and they have to compete more and more with cattle for food.

First the Stats…

Scientific name: Alcelaphus buselaphus
Weight: Up to 350 lbs
Height: 3 – 5 feet at the shoulder
Length: 5 – 8 feet long
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years

Now on to the Facts!

1.) Their horns measure 18 to 28 inches long!

2.) The hartebeest is diurnal (active during the day).

3.) They can aggregate in herds of about 300 individuals. It has been observed that they can herd into groups of up to 10,000!

4.) Cheetahs, jackals, lions, hyenas, leopards, and hunting dogs are the main predators of these creatures.

5.) Females live in small groups of 5 – 12 animals. Mature males live a solitary life.

But wait, there’s more on the hartebeest!

6.) Hartebeests reproduce all year round during the rainy season (when food is abundant).

7.) The hartebeest will feed almost entirely on grass and is not very selective about the types of grass. They are quite tolerant of poor-quality food.

Did you know…?
Even though they are big, the hartebeest is capable of running up to 43 mph!

8.) When females give birth, she isolates herself in the scrub areas and leaves the young calf hidden, only returning to allow the calf to suckle.

Now a Short Hartebeest Video!

Learn more about all kinds of cool critters here.

Be sure to comment below!

Critter Man

With over 40 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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