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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

21 Four-Horned Antelope Facts You’ll Never Forget

Four-Horned Antelope Fact File

The Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) of Chordata phylum, Artiodactyla order, and Bovinae subfamily is one of the smallest bovids seen in Asia and is also known as 'Chousingha.' Four-horned Antelopes have four horns, which is a distinctive feature as most bovids have two horns and not four horns. But only male antelopes, which are called bucks, grow these two pairs of horns. They have an unusual four-horned skull because of which they have one pair of horns between the ears and the other on the forehead. Their body is slender and has very thin legs and a short tail. They are yellowish-brown to reddish in color and the underparts and the insides of the legs are white. They are found in the countries of South Asia, mainly India and Nepal. Their natural habitat is the area of grasses or heavy undergrowth and open deciduous forests of either hilly areas or the Deccan region. The Four-horned Antelope is a diurnal species and usually lives in solitary. One of the most interesting facts about them is that they are shy animals!

Got an interest in mammals and want to know about more of them? Here you can know some amazing facts about Aurochs and Two-Toed Sloths.

Four-Horned Antelope Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Four-horned Antelope?

The Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) is a type of mammal of the family Bovidae. They can be seen in many states of India, such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka.

What class of animal does a Four-horned Antelope belong to?

The Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) belongs to the class Mammalia of the kingdom Animalia. They are the smallest Asian bovids and are known by different names like 'bekra,' 'bhokra,' and 'doda.'

How many Four-horned Antelopes are there in the world?

These species come under the Vulnerable category of animals and there are approximately 10,000 alive.

Where does a Four-horned Antelope live?

The Four-horned Antelope of the Bovidae family can be called a grassland animal as its preference is dense forests n the hilly or Deccan region or grasslands with thick cover. They are mostly found in India are conserved at various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks across India like Gir National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanha National Park, Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, Panna Tiger Reserve, and Pench Tiger Reserve.

What is a Four-horned Antelope's habitat?

Four-horned Antelopes prefer to live in the rich cover of grasses, dense deciduous forests. They usually inhabit open and dry spaces close to the water bodies, which are far from human settlements. Except for India, their population can be seen in Nepal also but in very low numbers.

Who do Four-horned Antelopes live with?

The vulnerable species of the Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) has both gregarious and solitary behavior. They are timid and elusive by nature, but you can sometimes see them moving in loose groups of three to five.  The juveniles rarely accompany the group, and males and females hardly interact with each other except during the breeding season.

How long does a Four-horned Antelope live?

The Four-horned Antelope of class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, and genus Tetracerus lives a lifespan of 10 years, but due to various threats to their habitat like destruction due to agriculture expansion and hunting, their population is continuously decreasing and need proper steps of conservation.

How do they reproduce?

The information about the mating reproducing system of the Four-horned Antelopes is not much gathered yet and is under research. Their breeding season is usually between the months of July and September. Because of their elusive and solitary nature, both sexes do not interact the whole year except for when they mate. Their gestation period lasts for about eight months, and females give birth to one or two calves which are kept concealed with them for the first three to four weeks.  

What is their conservation status?

This species has been facing a population decrease for the past two decades, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed them under Vulnerable species.

Four-Horned Antelope Fun Facts

What does a Four-horned Antelope look like?

This species is one of the smallest Asian bovids and has a yellowish-brown to reddish skin coat. They have four horns, one pair between the ears and the other on the forehead, also the posterior horns are longer. They have black markings behind the ears and has a black stripe that marks the outer surface of each leg.

The brown body of these antelopes confuses people between them and dry trees.

How cute are they?

This antelope with four horns is so small, an adorable animal, and can be absolutely considered cute!

How do they communicate?

They have specific calls which they use to communicate with their groupmates, though their call does not have a name. In situations of alarm, they tend to stay motionless and hide in the tall grasses. They don't usually use calls when around predators to avoid getting their attention, but in the cases of serious encounters with any outsider which they feel is dangerous, they use their call. To mark the area as their territory, they use some secretion of preorbital glands. Apart from this, they use visual gestures too. Submissive displays like turning ears, lowering their head, and pulling the ear back are some of the gestures they use while communicating.

How big is a Four-horned Antelope?

This yellowish-brown Four-horned Antelope of genus Tetracerus is 31.4-43.3 in (80-110 cm) long, 22–25 in (55.8–63.5 cm) tall, and weighs around 37.4–48.5 lb (17–22 kg). The largest antelope species called the Taurotragus derbianus (giant eland) are 4.3-5.9 ft (1.3-1.8 m) tall and have a body length of 7.2-9.5 ft(2.2-2.9 m). Like the Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis), one other species of antelopes known as the Neotragus pygmaeus comes under the category of small antelopes and are just 16 in (40.6 cm) long giving them a cute appearance!

How fast can a Four-horned Antelope run?

The exact speed of the Four-horned Antelope is not known yet but the fastest running antelope is the Prong Horned Antelope with a speed of 59 mph (95 kph).

How much does a Four-horned Antelope weigh?

The Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) is one of the smallest species of antelopes. They weigh around 37.4–48.5 lb (17–22 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male of this species is called a buck and the female of this species is called a doe.

What would you call a baby Four-horned Antelope?

The baby of the Four-horned Antelope is called a calf.

What do they eat?

The Four-horned Antelope is a herbivore and feeds on grasses, shrubs, herbs, flowers, and fruits. They have a frequent need for drinking water as well. About 29% of their diet consists of grasses, followed by foliage and flowers. They prefer grasses of family Cyperaceae, and the shrub Grewia hirsuta is frequently consumed. The Four-horned Antelope often roams with langurs to search for fruits. Most species of antelopes are herbivores except the duiker. They are small-sized antelopes and lives in forests. Their portion of the diet has insects, meat, and other birds too.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

It is preferred not to take any species of antelopes as a pet because they are animals of grasslands and forests. Moreover, the Four-horned Antelope IUCN  status is also Vulnerable, and saving their population is the need of the hour with suitable conservation measures.

Did you know...

The word ‘antelope’ has its own meaning and origin. It comes from ‘antholops,’ a Greek word. 'Antholops' is formed from its elements ‘anthos,’ which means ‘a flower’ and ‘ops’ translating to ‘eye,’ thus meaning ‘beautiful eye.’

Why is it called Four-horned Antelope?

It is called the Four-horned Antelope because of its unusual four-horned skull. Because of this, they have four horns in total on their head - one pair between the ears and the other on the forehead.

Are Four-horned Antelopes endangered?

Yes, the Four-horned Antelopes are endangered and the reason for the same is habitat destruction. Because of the agricultural expansion, their natural habitat is decreasing leading to a great deduction in the Four-horned Antelope population. Apart from this, people who have an interest in hunting often try to hunt them. India has Wildlife Protection Act and Nepal has CITES Appendix for their protection.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Impala facts and Sri Lankan Elephant facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our free four horned antelope coloring pages.

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