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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

15 Dik-Dik Facts You’ll Never Forget

Read these dik-dik facts about these monogamous mammals that mate with a single partner for life.

There are many animals across the globe, and some of them are cute. One such cute species that you can find in the wild in Africa is the dik-dik. It is an antelope that is small in size. The pronunciation of their name is also very simple, pronounced as 'dik-dik'. Who named them is still unknown, but we do know why they were called so. Keep reading to find out!

These mammals are monogamous and know how to mark their territories. They live in pairs and take care of each other and the place that they live in. Conflicts amongst them are rare, and when conflicts do occur, the males from each territory nod their heads after ramming into each other. They stop short, after dashing, and turn around after they are done nodding their heads. The process is repeated until one of them stops.

You can read more amazing facts below. Do check our articles on the axis deer and the fallow deer too.

Dik-Dik Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dik-dik?

A dik-dik is a miniature antelope that belongs to the genus Madoqua. Dik-dik is the name used for the four species of these small antelopes.

What class of animal does a dik-dik belong to?

Dik-diks, like antelopes, belong to the class Mammalia.

How many dik-diks are there in the world?

The dik-dik population is estimated to be 971,000 worldwide.

Where do dik-diks live?

Dik-diks live in southern and eastern Africa. The four species of dik-diks are located in different parts of the African continent. This animal prefers locations with a good cover.

What is a dik-dik's habitat?

The habitat of the dik-dik is situated in eastern and southern Africa in the savannas and shrublands. This species prefers places with enough supply of shrubs and edible plants as its habitat. You will find dik-diks in various habitats like open plains or dense forests. They prefer locations that do not have tall grass but still have a good cover. Their territories are usually in places where there are shrubby bushes to hide when any predator attacks them.

Who does dik-dik live with?

The dik-diks' population is known to not live in groups. They are known to live in monogamous pairs. The pair takes care of themselves and the territories that they live in. They mark their territories using their tears or the dung where the male covers the female dik-dik's dung with its own.

How long does a dik-dik live?

A dik-dik has a lifespan of 10 years in the wild. Kirk's dik-dik lives for five years in the wild and can cross 10 years of age as well. In captivity, the Kirk's dik-dik male can live up to 16.5 years, and Kirk's dik-dik female can live up to 18.4 years.

How do they reproduce?

Dik-diks are known to be monogamous. This is quite helpful in protecting their population as it can be really dangerous for them to explore other new partners because of the predators all around. Even though they are monogamous, males will try to initiate mating with an extra pair if they get any chance.

When six months old, females mature sexually, whereas, males sexually mature when they reach the age of 12 months. During the breeding season, the couple mates. The gestation period for the females is that of 169 - 174 days. After the gestation period ends, the antelope gives birth to a single offspring. The couple lives in pairs, and they give birth to one offspring twice a year, when the rainy season starts and when it ends. The offspring of this antelope is born nose-first. The offspring lives with its mother antelope and feeds on its milk for six weeks. The young ones reach their full size by the time they reach the age of seven months. When they mature, the young ones are forced to leave their parents' territory and have their territory. The fathers run off the young male ones, and the mothers run their daughters off their territory.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of dik-diks is of Least Concern, and they are not endangered. Madoqua kirkii, Madoqua saltiana, and Madoqua guentheri fall under the category of Least Concern, whereas Madoqua piacentinii is under the status of Data Deficient.

Dik Dik Fun Facts

What does a dik-dik look like?

In this species, the females are a little larger than males. The males have small horns with a hair tuft on their crowns. The color of the dik-diks is tan, and they have a black spot below the inside corner of each eye. This black spot has a preorbital gland that helps them in producing a dark-colored sticky secretion.

The body of the dik-diks is made so that they can live in the hot environment of Africa easily. The long and elongated snouts help their body in evaporation and cool off the blood in the body.

Dik-diks have many predators because of their small size.

How cute are they?

Dik-diks are really adorable. The first time you see them, you'll be put in a state of awe. Their small size, big eyes, and adorable little snout will melt your heart. You would want to have them as your pet even when they are wild but they should not be petted.

How do they communicate?

Dik-diks are named so because of the calls that the females make when they feel under threat. Other than the alarm call by the female, both the genders have whistling sounds in which they communicate. The species hide instead of running when they hear other animals making alarm calls.

How big is a dik-dik?

Dik-diks are smaller in size, with their weight ranging 6.6-13.2 lb (3-6 kg) and length 19.5-27.5 in (50-70 cm) tall. They have their height at shoulders reaching between 12-15.5 in (30-39 cm). The species is around the size of a golden retriever.

How fast can a dik-dik run?

Their small size should not fool you. As they are at higher risks of becoming prey to predators, they have a good speed. They can run at high speeds of 26 mph (42 kph).

How much does a dik-dik weigh?

A dik-dik has its weight ranging between 6.6-13.2 lb (3-6 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Dik-diks, being miniature antelopes, have gender-specific names like other antelopes. The females are known as a doe, and males are called a buck.

What would you call a baby dik-dik?

A baby dik-dik is known as a calf as it is an antelope. There is no specific name given to the offspring of this species.

What do they eat?

The foods that dik-diks eat are fruits, berries, flowers, leaves, and shoots. This species is not very fond of eating grass. Being herbivores, they love to feed on berries, foliage, and shoots but no or very little grass. Also, they don't waste water or drink it because they get their water intake from their food.

Are they dangerous?

This African antelope that is really small in size is not dangerous. They are the ones who are in danger, though. Their small size makes them easy prey to so many animals. Becoming food to other African wild animals, such as cheetahs, leopars, martial eagles, lions, and jackals, is something that this adorable small-sized animal suffers from.

Would they make a good pet?

Dik-diks do not make a very good pet. They are really small in size but do not let that fool you. They are wild animals with excellent eyesight and the ability to reach speeds of 26 mph (42 kph). With such high speeds and the will to live freely in the wild, they will not be great to have at your home as your household pets. Let them be free in the forests of Africa and they will be happy.

Did you know...

There is an American pop band called 'Dik-Dik,' but it has no connection to the animal.

Even though these mini antelopes are much smaller in size, they are still not the smallest antelope present. Royal antelopes are the smallest of antelopes.

Why is a dik-dik called a dik-dik?

A dik-dik is called a dik-dik because of the sound that the females make. The female antelope makes a repetitive sound of 'dik' through the whistle that comes from their long snouts, which are made when they feel they are under threat.

How many babies can a dik-dik have?

A dik-dik gives birth to one baby two times a year. The time when this happens is when the rainy season begins and when it ends.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our spiral-horned antelope facts and saiga antelope facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dik-dik coloring pages.

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