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Antelope: Springbok

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Guinea Pig
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Antelope: Springbok

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Thu May 05, 2005 8:06 am

As Springbok do occur in other National Parks, I'm posting this bit of interesting info.

The largest herds on record were recorded during migration accross the plains of Southern Africa in the 19th century. In 1888 a herd estimated to contain 100,000,000 head (although 10,000,000 seems like a more realistic figure) was observed near Nelspoort in the Cape Province. In 1896 a herd estimated to be 15miles (24km) wide and more than 100miles (160km) long was recorded at Karree Kloof, Orange River, also in SA.

:shock:

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Unread postby CurtisDillon » Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:31 pm

It must be fantastic to see that amount of springbok together though. The same as the wildebeest in other parts of Africa. :shock:

When I was in the Kgalagadi a few years ago I really enjoyed these little guys. We were sitting watching them browsing around and just enjoying themselves when all of a sudden they just started running around and jumping into the air, it was amazing. :big_eyes: I found out that this behaviour was called "stotting" (pronking). I see it is not really understood why the springbok does this. I have read that it may be a nervous reaction when they are startled but I never really saw anything that could have startled them. I got all excited because I thought I was going to witness a kill, no such luck! :?

But in any case it was great to see about 10 of these springbok doing this. It looks just like a horse bucking in a rodeo, the head lowered almost to the feet, the legs extended with hoofs bunched together and the back rounded. That dorsal fan on their rump is also fasinating, when they start stotting the white long hair of this fan opens and the hair stands up straight, adding to the spectacle. Then they just take off, as if those little legs are spring loaded and just hang in the air as if to defy gravity. After doing a bit of research I found out that they can jump nearly 3m high (9feet) and I can believe it after witnessing it myself. They hardly seem to touch the ground though when they do this. All this happens at high speed. It was great fun to witness. :lol:
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Unread postby bucky » Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:49 pm

100,000,000 is 100 million .

Thats a couple and a few , hard to believe though .

Pronking is an awesome sight isnt it .

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Unread postby Salva » Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:18 am

And the number of predators that were around these huge herds must have been equally mind dazzling!

I have also red about these herds but 100 million seems a bit over the top.
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Unread postby Pilane » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:21 pm

If one take 160km by 24 km a 100 000 000 can fit into this area with ease (with a lot of room to spare)...... who will ever know....

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Unread postby Nannie » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:16 pm

We saw a white springbok yesterday,have seen black ones, but this was a first,would the white couloration be caused the same as the black. It was not in a NP.

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Unread postby Tabs » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:25 am

Nannie wrote:We saw a white springbok yesterday,have seen black ones, but this was a first,would the white couloration be caused the same as the black. It was not in a NP.


Yes - there are occasional white/black springboks (and other mammals) both variations are caused by a genetic fault.

We saw a 'black' zebra foal in the Kgalagadi a few years ago.

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Unread postby bwana » Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:37 pm

Black and White variations are very common - huge herd of them exist in the Karoo. They do probably stem from a genetic mismatch at some time but are now sub species (or whatever the correct biological term is) in their own right IIRC. The white ones are not albino's and happily produce white offspring when mating with other white springbuck. The black gene is also very dominant and any common or white springbuck mated with a black one will produce a black fawn - which accounts for the large numbers that are found in the EC. White springbuck suffer the most from interbreeding between the colours and the degree of whiteness ranges from pure white, to buck with fawn colour flanks on an overall white body - the result of breeding with the common variety.
A recent offshoot is the Cinnamon Springbuck which has a cinammon colour (go figure) and has mostly lost the dark flank stripe. I would suppose that these have originated from very selective breeding though, and are not common at all.
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Unread postby lee lewis » Wed May 07, 2008 1:27 pm

I have just come across the scientific name for Springbok - Antidorcas marsupialis. Can anyone perhaps shed light on how the reference to marsupials came about?

Would be interesting to know.

Thanks

Lee

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Unread postby bwana » Wed May 07, 2008 1:38 pm

lee lewis wrote:I have just come across the scientific name for Springbok - Antidorcas marsupialis. Can anyone perhaps shed light on how the reference to marsupials came about?

Would be interesting to know.

Thanks

Lee


I'll hazard a guess. Most probably to do with their 'pronking' - jumping straight up in the air from which a similarity to marsupials was drawn.
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Unread postby Jose » Wed May 07, 2008 3:48 pm

bwana wrote:
lee lewis wrote:I have just come across the scientific name for Springbok - Antidorcas marsupialis. Can anyone perhaps shed light on how the reference to marsupials came about?

Would be interesting to know.

Thanks

Lee


I'll hazard a guess. Most probably to do with their 'pronking' - jumping straight up in the air from which a similarity to marsupials was drawn.

Hello stranger :yaya: :D

Yes, has to do with pronking, but in a different way...
Springbok have a dorsal skin fold (a marsupium, hence the Latin name) extending from the middle of their back to their rump, which contains erectile white hair. When excited or frightened, this skin fold turns inside out and the white hair shows.

Source: Richard Estes
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Unread postby lee lewis » Wed May 07, 2008 3:57 pm

My, My! We learn every day don't we. Thank you so much for that information. I can now go home after an informative day at the office...

I know it has been said many times over on the forum, but there is just nowhere else that one can learn, laugh, cry and share experiences with other like-minded people across the globe.

Thanks again!

Lee

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Unread postby restio » Wed May 07, 2008 11:12 pm

lee lewis wrote:I have just come across the scientific name for Springbok - Antidorcas marsupialis. Can anyone perhaps shed light on how the reference to marsupials came about?


From Wikipedia:

The Latin name marsupialis derives from a pocket-like skin flap which extends along the middle of the back from the tail onwards. When the male springbok is showing off his strength to attract a mate, or to ward of predators it starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a conspicuous fan shape which, in turn emits a strong floral scent of sweat. This ritual is known as pronking which is the Afrikaans word meaning to boast or show off, (see pronking).

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Unread postby Jose » Thu May 08, 2008 7:11 pm

restio wrote:From Wikipedia:
<...>pocket-like skin flap <...> Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail <...>

Y'ello restio... ja, I found that Wikipedia quote as well, but decided not to use it, Mainly because it's partially incorrect ("Lifting the flap"), or at least incomplete ("under the tail").
Will post further details and explanatory pic tomorrow. :wink:
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Unread postby restio » Thu May 08, 2008 8:30 pm

Looking forward to the pic, Jose. 8) I love learning new things - that's what is so great about the forums. :D


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