Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Cool, Gorgeous Gerenuk

The gerenuk is an African antelope with a long, thin neck - the name means "giraffe-necked." They live in dry areas and are specially adapted to be able to eat leaves off bushes other antelopes can't reach. Often grazing by standing upright, they use their hooves to pull down branches several feet off the ground, below where giraffes eat but above where other antelope species eat. Nice niche for the gerenuk.

Only the males have horns. This photo, taken in Samburu National Park, Kenya, is of a lovely female. Gerenuk have small heads and large ears, and very narrow, long necks, but otherwise have antelope looking bodies. They are not currently endangered but they do suffer a loss of habitat, like almost all animals today.

No comments: