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Antelope: Kudu

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

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LittleLeopard
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Unread postby LittleLeopard » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:25 pm

CurtisDillon wrote:I noticed Kudu bulls doing the same thing with there horns and was told that they put mud on their horns to remove the shine. Their horns tend to shimmer in sun light, lions and other predators could see it and that is why Kudu's do that. I thought it could be the same reason for Nyala.


CurtisDillon, I also heard this explanation from someone. It makes more sense than the "bigger horns" theory according to me :hmz:

I would imagaine kudus and nyalas will have a tough time putting enough mud on their horns and for it to stay there to make any impact on the size at all :hmz:
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Jose
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Unread postby Jose » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:44 pm

I must say that I'm not happy with the explanation of a prey animal "putting on make-up" for camouflage. Found another one (inconclusive though) on 50/50's site:

The klipspringer will horn bushes to mark territory, the kudu does so as a mild form of aggression display. Kudu also dig up mud with their horns as aggression display. Such display is always in the presence of other kudu.
But why would this kudu horn mud? Sue Visser of Lynnwood Ridge watched the kudu bull as it repeatedly pushed and rolled its horns into the mud. She says that she has heard stories of kudus doing so to take the shine off their horns to make them less conspicuous. The bull did not bother to drink at the water hole but only busied itself with the mud. There were no other kudu in the vicinity.

This is not a case of wallowing in the mud. Mud wallowing is not typical of Tragelaphines such as kudu, nyala and sitatunga. Bovines like buffalo, elephants, rhino and warthogs relish a wallow either to cool down or give their hides a protective mud coating against parasites such as ticks and biting flies. The only member of the Tragelaphine tribe known to dig and toss wet soil with their horns, is the nyala and specifically aggressive bulls.

I have no knowledge of kudu smearing mud on their horns for camouflage. I do know, however, that the skin of the kudu’s cheek and ear is oily and that attracts flies. So, perhaps this is a case of trying to get mud on those head parts to control parasites. Or it is a misplaced show of mild aggression.


And from a hunting site (which I will not link to):

Horning: kudu bulls use their horns to break off branches to gain access to leaves normally out of reach. Ground horning, when the horns and face are rubbed in mud or dry ground is form of territorial behaviour found in kudu as well as in nyala, bushbuck and wildebeest.
Last edited by Jose on Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CurtisDillon
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Unread postby CurtisDillon » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:50 pm

Jose wrote:Kudu also dig up mud with their horns as aggression display. Such display is always in the presence of other kudu.
But why would this kudu horn mud? Sue Visser of Lynnwood Ridge watched the kudu bull as it repeatedly pushed and rolled its horns into the mud. She says that she has heard stories of kudus doing so to take the shine off their horns to make them less conspicuous. The bull did not bother to drink at the water hole but only busied itself with the mud. There were no other kudu in the vicinity.


Jose, we did a night drive at Pretoriuskop and asked the game warden about this behaviour because we saw a Kudu do this at Shitlhave dam on the H1-1. He told us that it was to remove the shine from the horns so that predators do not see them that easy. So it does seem that make up is not that bad for survival. :twisted:
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CurtisDillon
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Unread postby CurtisDillon » Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:16 am

Tabs wrote:Can anyone truly believe that a Kudu 'knows' that his horns are shiny enough to attract predators? Any Field Guide (Game Ranger) who suggest this is the case should be demoted to Pen-pusher with immediate effect!


We had no reason to doubt the information the Field Guide gave us on the night drive.

Tabs wrote:The horning of mud is done as territorial behaviour


I have found information which suggests that kudu and nyala display no territorial behaviour, but kudu show dominance hierarchies.

Refer to this site (under Behaviour) for an opinion on the territorial behaviour of kudu.

For the territorial behaviour of nyala, go here and read under Habitat.

As Jose mentioned earlier in this thread, this site also discusses the horning of mud. 50/50 is one of the leading nature programmes on South African television.
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CurtisDillon
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Unread postby CurtisDillon » Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:57 pm

christo wrote:The dominance/territorial display occurs when a potential threatening male enters the personal space/territorium of a male when courtship is likely to take place.

This should not be seen as the normal defending a territory.

Maybe dominace display/aggressive display is better wording.


I agree with you christo. Most articles I have read about this seem to call it:
dominance hierarchies.
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Elsa
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Unread postby Elsa » Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:36 am

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:44 pm

a beautiful set of horns on the road from Lower Sabie to Skukuza
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Unread postby richardharris » Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:59 pm

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Haven't played 'who's got the biggest' for a long time!

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:41 pm

This must have been a beautiful animal too,(river road from Skukuza) check the paw prints next to the horns...went back 2 days later and the horns were gone :?

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Unread postby Elsa » Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:49 pm

Another lovely male we came across on the H10 before Nkumbe viewsite.

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Unread postby LaeveldLeeu » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:46 am

Hi
This is also my favourite antelope in Kruger.

Here is one with wide straight horns. Not quite the 60' we are looking for but a nice big fellow. Look at its neck.
Got this one on the Nwanetsi dirt road near Satara.

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Unread postby francoisd » Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:04 pm

There are a number of photos of Kruger Kudu bulls here so for variation here is a Mapungubwe kudu.

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Unread postby Wild about cats » Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:19 pm

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Unread postby MarkWildDog » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:07 pm

On S114 Renosterkoppies Road:
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bert
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Unread postby bert » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:58 pm

A lovely lady
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