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Gnu or Wildebeest


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The Gnu or Wildebeest is a fast-running plant-eater from eastern African grasslands. The name wildebeest means "wild beast" in the language Afrikaans. Wildebeests gather in enormous herds of up to a million animals. Newborn calves can stand about 3 to 5 minutes after they are born, and can them run with their mother and the herd. Wildebeests have a life span of up to 20 years in captivity.

Anatomy: The Wildebeest is up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 600 pounds (275 kg). Both males and females have sharp, curved, smooth horns. Males are slightly larger than females. They all have beards (white or black, depending on the subspecies), long manes, humped shouders, and long legs. Wildebeests have excellent hearing and a good sense of smell.

Predators: These herding mammals are preyed upon by lions, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs.

Diet and Water: Wildebeests are plant-eaters, grazing mostly on grass. They need to drink water every day.

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