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Fun Kirk's Dik-dik Facts For Kids

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Kirk's dik-diks are small antelopes endemic to eastern Africa, southern Africa, and central Tanzania. They live in open plains and arid savannah areas, which have a lot of cover but lack tall vegetation. A dik-dik's hide is yellowish-gray and brown in color, its forelimbs as smaller than its hind limbs. They have an elongated snout that has adapted to their habitat's hot climate, large dark eyes with a white ring outlining them. They have preorbital glands, which look like black spots under the inner corner of their eyes. Males have small ribbed backward horns. The females are slightly larger and heavier than them; these minor distinguishing differences between the physical descriptions of the two sexes make them a sexually dimorphic species. Leopards, cheetahs, lions, crocodiles, and more are some carnivorous predators that often prey on them in the wild.

For more relatable content, check out these spiral-horned antelope facts and deer facts for kids.

Fun Kirk's Dik-dik Facts For Kids


What do they prey on?

Foliage, fruits, shoots, berries

What do they eat?

Omnivore

Average litter size?

1

How much do they weigh?

Male: 16 lb (7.2 kg), female: 18 lb (8.1 kg)

How long are they?

20-26 in (52-67 cm)

How tall are they?

14-18 in (35.5-45.7 cm)


What do they look like?

Dainty fawn-colored bodies, large eyes and ears, elongated snout, large hind limbs, vestigial tail

Skin Type

Hair or fur

What were their main threats?

Humans

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Savannahs

Locations

Eastern And Southwestern Africa

Kingdom

Animalia

Genus

Madoqua

Class

Mammalia

Family

Bovidae

Kirk's Dik-Dik Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Kirk's dik-dik?

Kirk's dik-diks (Madoqua kirkii) are small antelopes belonging to the Bovidae family.

What class of animal does a Kirk's dik-dik belong to?

Kirk's dik-diks (Madoqua kirkii) are small antelopes belonging to the class Mammalia.

How many Kirk's dik-diks are there in the world?

The exact number of Kirk's dik-diks is unknown. But since they are categorized as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List, it means there are more than 10,000 mature individuals alive today.

Where does a Kirk's dik-dik live?

Kirk's dik-diks (Madoqua kirkii) are endemic to eastern Africa, southern Africa, and central Tanzania.

What is a Kirk's dik-dik's habitat?

Kirk's dik-diks live in savannah areas in southwest arid biotic zones, and Southern savannah biotic zones. Their natural habitats have a good cover but lack tall vegetation. They live in territories of 2-86 acres.

Who do Kirk's dik-diks live with?

Kirk's dik-diks (Madoqua kirkii) live in monogamous pairs in territories of 2-86 acres. They mate for life.

How long does a Kirk's dik-dik live?

Kirk's dik-dik's life span is an average of five years in the wild but has also surpassed 10 years. In captivity, males have lived up to 16.5 years and females 18.4 years.

How do they reproduce?

Kirk's dik-diks live in pairs in their territory range. They mark their territory using the dung and urine of the bonded pair and mate for life (monogamous). Copulation typically occurs three to five times within nine hours.

Female Kirk's dik-diks have a gestation period of five to six months and may produce up to two young in a year. Kirk's dik-diks produce one offspring per gestation. The young are birthed in November-December and April-May. The female fawns reach sexual maturity between six to eight months of age, while it is eight to nine months for males. For the first two to three weeks, the young are hidden away from the mother. The young stay with the parents until another offspring is born, which is for around seven months. After seven months of age and a new offspring is born, the mother chases away the older offspring if it is female, and the father chases it away if it is male. The older fawn leaves to find their own territory and mate.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, Kirk's dik-diks are listed as of Least Concern. The population of dik-diks is solely threatened by human activities but not to the extent that the number of dik-diks falls rapidly.

Kirk's Dik-Dik Fun Facts 

What do Kirk's dik-diks look like?

Kirk's dik-diks are a small antelope species whose females are slightly larger and heavier than the males, while only the males have small horns.

Dik-diks are the smallest antelopes; Kirk's dik-diks are the largest of four dik-dik species under the Madoqua genus. The hide of Kirk's dik-diks is yellowish-gray on their body, brown on their back, and grayish-white on their belly. Males have ribbed horns that are 3 in (8 cm) long. This species of antelopes have large dark eyes outlined by a white ring. The black spots below the eyes are preorbital glands that produce a dim, sticky secretion that marks the territory with its scent. Their elongated snout is adapted to have a cooling mechanism that prevents them from overheating in hot climates and helps minimize their water needs.

How cute are they?

Kirk's dik-diks are very cute furry animals. Their small size and large doe-like eyes enthrall any onlooker. Even when they are fully grown, they look very cuddle-worthy.

How do they communicate?

They mark their territory range using dung, urine, and secretions from their preorbital glands. When in danger, dik-diks run in a zig-zag pattern and make alarm calls that sound like 'zik-zik' by whistling through their noses. This shrill sound alerts other dik-diks of any possible danger. They are named 'dik-dik' after this unique alarm sound of theirs.

How big is a Kirk's dik-dik?

A Kirk's dik-dik is 20-26 in (52-67 cm) long and 14-18 in (35.5-45.7 cm) tall (from their shoulders). They are twice the size of Miki dogs and approximately the same size as woolly monkeys.

How fast can a Kirk's dik-dik run?

Dik-diks are fast runners and can reach speeds up to 26 mph (42 kph).

How much does a Kirk's dik-dik weigh?

Male dik-diks weigh 16 lb (7.2 kg), and female dik-diks are slightly larger and heavier at 18 lb (8.1 kg). They weigh half of what an American water spaniel weighs.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names to differentiate between the male and female dik-diks of this species. They look similar in terms of hiding color but differ when it comes to size and horns. The females are larger and heavier, while the males have small ribbed horns.

What would you call a baby Kirk's dik-dik?

There are no specific names for baby Kirk's dik-diks; they are generally referred to as young, fawns, or offspring.

What do they eat?

Dik-diks are herbivores, and their diet consists of foliage, fruits, shoots, and berries. To their evolutionary adaptations, they don't need to drink water. They often eat succulents which help them survive in arid habitats.

Are they dangerous?

They are not very dangerous to humans or small animals but can get aggressive and territorial if other dik-diks try to encroach on their territory. The males have the responsibility of protecting the habitat and guarding it.

Would they make a good pet?

No, Kirk's dik-diks would not be good pets. They need large areas to live in and are wild animals that have not been tamed. In some countries, it is even illegal to own them.

Did you know...

The biggest threat dik-diks face is humans. Humans hunt them for their skin. Due to their small size, the hide recovery is low and is only enough to make one glove.

Dik-diks are preyed on by various predators like leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, lions, and other large carnivores. Kirk's dik-diks have fine-tuned senses of hearing, sight, and smell. When in danger, they emit their 'zik-zik' alarm calls and hide.

Dik-diks are ruminants, like cows, and have four chambers in their stomach. But they differ from other ruminants in birthing; the dik-dik's offspring are born with their forelegs along the body rather than extended forward. Survival rates for dik-dik fawns are approximately 50%.

Why are they called dik-diks?

Dik-diks emit an alarm call that sounds like 'zik-zik'. Due to this peculiar and unique alarm sound, they were named dik-dik.

How many babies can a dik-dik have? 

Female dik-diks give birth to one offspring at a time and breed twice a year. They give birth in November-December and April-May.

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 woolly monkey facts and dachshund beagle mix facts pages.

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

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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