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Gazelle



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Gazelles are medium-sized antelopes that have long, ringed horns. Small herds of gazelles live on dry, African grasslands. Gazelles have a 10 to 12 year life span in the wild and up to 17 years in captivity. There are 14 species of gazelles across North Africa and Southwest Asia, including Grant's Gazelle, Thompson's Gazelle (with a black stripe on its side), the rare Dorcas Gazelle, etc.

Locomotion: These swift runners can also jump very well. In addition, they can bounce with all four legs held in a stiff position; this is called pronking. In this springing motion, all four hoofed feet leave the ground and land at the same time.

Horns: The gazelle's horns are very long and heavily ringed. Some are straight and some are gently curved. Like all horns, they are not shed, but continue to grow throughout their life. In many species of gazelle, the females also have horns, but smaller than the male's horns.

Anatomy: There are many species of gazelles. These graceful mammals are roughly 2 to 3 ft (60 to 90 cm) tall at the shoulder. Many gazelles are counter-shaded; the top of the body is light brown but the belly is white. Gazelles have large eyes and ears; they use their sense of sight and hearing to detect predators (like hyenas and jackals).

Diet: Gazelles are herbivores (plant-eaters). They eat desert shrubs, acacias, young shoots, and grasses. They spend most of their time grazing.

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