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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Gazelle: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Gazelle facts are about the antelope species with sharp horns.

Native to the African and the Asian Continent, an antelope is a herbivore that is usually found in herds and resides in the wilderness of the grasslands or the forest area. This fact file is about such a ruminant  gazelle. Animal of the Gazella genus, this deer has various species such as G. arabica, G. dorcas, G. cuvier, and G. subgutturosa to name some. Gazelle horns are ringed and curved, helping with the identification with the African gazelle being the most well-known.

Here are some of the most interesting gazelle animal facts for your perusal. For more relatable content, check out these fallow deer facts and Friesian facts for kids.

Gazelle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a gazelle?

A gazelle is a mammal, an antelope with sharp horns, and a herbivore diet. It is a terrestrial being, a ruminant that has similar features to a deer but has its own differences like beautiful eyes, slender legs, and short little body to name some. They are also known for their ringed horns.

What class of animal does a gazelle belong to?

A gazelle is a mammal belonging to the family of Antilopinae, of class Mammalia and phylum Chordata. This family further belongs to the order Artiodactyla. The mammals of this family are even-toed ungulate.

How many gazelles are there in the world?

Gazelles are a few in number, estimated to be a few thousand. They are rare and live in very restricted habitats. It is very unusual to see a gazelle wandering alone, they are almost always found in herds.

Where does a gazelle live?

These tan colored animals are found in arid and semi arid regions such as the Savannah desert in Africa and Tanzania and throughout the Arabian peninsula. In Asia, they are spread across China, Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

What is a gazelle's habitat?

A gazelle breeds in mountain areas and in grasslands. They are seen feeding on grasses and shoots in these regions. When the dry season comes they migrate across the African continent in the search of water.

Who do gazelles live with?

A gazelle is almost always never found alone. They move around and graze in herds. They graze in a number of a few hundred to a few thousand, depending upon the region they are grazing on. One reason they move in herds is that they are easy prey to predators like lions and jaguars.

How long does a gazelle live?

Surviving in the wilderness for a gazelle is not an easy task, especially for animals that are easy prey. Even though an antelope is a swift animal, it does not have a very long life span. In the wild, it may live a little above eight years, while in captivity it may survive for as long as 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

During mating season they move in small groups, comprising 3-8 gazelles. They mate around October and November and are polyandrous or promiscuous in nature. Females go through a reproductive period called estrus after every 18 days until they are pregnant. Female gazelles show polyandry, that is they mate with more than one male gazelle. After mating the female conceives and undergoes a gestation period of 180 days till the offsprings are born. Baby gazelle nurses from the mother for about a week and they both join a maternity herd later. Female baby gazelle may live with her mother for her entire life, but male baby gazelle leaves after a few months.

What is their conservation status?

They are not extinct for now but are in danger in both the African and the Asian continent. Illegal meat trading, hunting for skin, urbanization, and industrialization are all the major threats facing these antelopes. Humans are invading their natural habitats by creating farms and huts for living. Rapid loss of habitat has created a shortage of food available for them and in turn, made their survival difficult.

Gazelle Fun Facts

What do gazelles look like?

Gazelles are short sized antelopes, also referred to as dwarfs. These short statured ruminants weigh around 44.1 lb (20 kg) and have a tan color to their skin(fur). They have a slender body and their neck and legs are comparatively longer than their body. Their underpart is white, which continues till their legs. Females have black skin around their two teats to help the young ones to identify the source of milk. Both male and female have horns on their head which have peculiar grooves and male are comparatively bigger in size than the female gazelle.

Gazelles are well known for their majestic horns.

How cute are they?

Even though the antelopes dwell in the wild they are absolutely adorable looking mammals. They are really cute and friendly, but that doesn't mean one should not maintain their distance.  They are wild beings and look good from far.  

How do they communicate?

Gazelle is not really vocal but has a very different way of communicating. They communicate via scent. Their hooves have scent glands that leave their scent for days in the area they pass from.  This way, if they get separated, they unite through their scents and so they don't get lost.

How big is a gazelle?

These are short statured antelopes, they measure around 40-50 in (101.6-127 cm) long and are around 2-3.5 ft (0.6-1.1 m) tall. They have slightly broad shoulders and their horns measure around 13 in (33 cm) long.

How fast can a gazelle run?

Gazelles are very swift creatures especially because they are easily caught by predators like wild cats. This is one reason why they are really fast. Gazelle running speed maximizes at 60 mph (96.6 kph). Gazelles are known to maintain a speed of 30-40 mph (48.3-64.4 kph) while running from predators.

How much does a gazelle weigh?

Male gazelle usually are bigger than a female gazelle and may weigh around 66.1 lb (30 kg) while the female gazelle can weigh around 55 lb (25 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

These antelopes have different names for each sex. A male antelope is referred to as a buck while a female is referred to as a doe. A doe is usually polyandrous in nature and moves around in the maternity herd after giving birth.

What would you call a baby gazelle?

A baby gazelle is referred to as fawn or calf. A fawn stays with the mother gazelle in a maternity herd till the time they are mature enough to fend for themselves. A female fawn may grow up and stay with her mother for a lifetime. A mother gazelle protects her babies from predators by hiding them behind the grasses.

What do they eat?

Gazelles are ruminants and feed on a herbivore diet. They feed on herbs, short grasses, and foliage. They acquire most of their nutrients such as vitamins and carbohydrates from plant based diets.

Are they aggressive?

These animals are mostly docile but get aggressive while defending their territory and looking for a mate. Dominant male gazelles protect and guard their mates during estrus from other males, hence at that time, their aggressive nature is seen.

Would they make a good pet?

These are wild animals and are not to be taken as pets. These graceful antelopes move around in herds with other gazelles and prefer company. Also domesticating them is not a legal practice. Hence taking them as pets is not a good idea

Did you know...

Gazelle is a very graceful and beautiful animal.  They hold symbolic importance across various tribes of Africa. Their ringed horns are impressive and attract a lot of attention from visitors and tourists.

Gazelle is pronounced or spelled as 'Guh-zel'.

The gazelle meaning is a symbol of female beauty. The word gazelle comes from the Arabic ghazal, which is a lyric love poem.

How high can a gazelle jump?

Just like kangaroos, gazelle can take a high leap. They walk normally until they are threatened or excited.  They can take a leap of 10 ft (3 m) or more in the air.

How many teeth does a gazelle have?

Gazelle lacks incisor and upper canine teeth. They feed on plant materials using their strong jaws to break down food particles.

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 reindeer facts and key deer facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Saudi Gazelle coloring pages.

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