Fun Spiral Horned Antelope Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Spiral Horned Antelope Facts For Kids

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The spiral horned antelope (Tragelaphini) is a bovine that lives mainly in the African Sahara regions. These animals belong to the family of Bovidae, to which sheep and cattle also belong. The spiral-horned antelope has nine different species: the greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), lesser kudu, common eland, nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), giant eland, bongo, sitatunga, cape bushbucks, and mountain nyalas.

The spiral horned antelope species is famous for hiding when it spots its predators. They hide behind tall and dense bushes to perfectly blend in with the vegetation around them. Some species, like the greater kudu, lesser kudu, and bushbucks, hide throughout the day from their predators in long bushes and vegetation and feed and drink water at night. It is said that species like the eland can go without water for an entire month!

Spiral horned antelopes are social animals who are always seen together in a large tribe called herds. These species of animals always live in herds, except for the bushbuck species (these antelopes are spotted mainly in solitary and isolated populations). During their breeding period, this species, like all other spiral horned antelopes, come together in a process called intraspecific competition to do their famous horn fight. In this fight, males fight with their horns and attack the faces of each other, while females snap at each other and practice neck fighting. The result of this competition gives antelopes the right to choose their mate or mates, as they are polyandrous animals that have different mates throughout their life. They then go on to mate, before the female finds an isolated hiding place to give birth in. The gestation period of the spiral horned antelope is seven to nine months long.

Here are some more interesting facts on the spiral horned antelope for everyone to enjoy. Let's have a look at these interesting facts and if you do like these, read our guides to the addax and the gerenuk too!

Fun Spiral Horned Antelope Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Plants, bushes, grass, fruits, and flowers

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

220 lb - 286 lb (100 kg - 130 kg)

How long are they?

5.9 ft - 7.8 ft (1.8 m - 2.4 m)

How tall are they?

35.4 in - 43.3 in (90 cm - 110 cm)

What do they look like?

Brown and white

Skin Type

Short fur

What were their main threats?

Habitat Destruction, Over-hunting, And Large Animals Like Lions

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Grass Plains, Rainforests, Mountains, And Sub-deserts


East And Southern Africa









Spiral Horned Antelope Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a spiral horned antelope?

The spiral horned antelope is a species of the Bovidae family that goats, cattle, and sheep also belong to. The spiral horned antelope looks similar to a deer and bull, and often people mistake them for a species of deer.

What class of animal does a spiral horned antelope belong to?

The spiral horned antelope belongs to the class of mammals and the Bovidae family. As referenced in their name, these animals have large spiral-like horns and they are spotted in southern Africa in sub-deserts, mountains, or grass plains.

How many spiral horned antelopes are there in the world?

The spiral horned antelope is often described as the 'magnificient seven', in reference to the fact that there are seven different species of this animal. Still, this statement is not entirely accurate as these seven species are only the ones spotted in East Africa. In total, there are nine species of spiral horned antelopes that can be spotted around the world.

Where does a spiral horned antelope live?

Spiral horned antelopes are found in southern Africa in mountain regions, rainforests, grass plains, and sub-deserts. Most spiral horned antelopes are found below the Sahara desert in Africa. In contrast, species like the greater kudu are found in hilly areas of central, eastern, and southern Africa.

What is a spiral horned antelope's habitat?

Spiral horned antelopes are animals that are found in a variety of habitats. These animals can live in both humid environments and arid environments. They don't have a particular preference and can be found in a wide range of habitats including rainforests, savannas, mountains, and semi-desert areas of South Africa.

Who do spiral horned antelopes live with?

Spiral horned antelopes are social animals who are found in groups or tribes called herds. These animals always live in herds except for the bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), which leads a solitary life and is rarely seen in groups.

How long does a spiral horned antelope live?

The average lifespan of a spiral horned antelope is 15 years, but some species can live to up to 20 years of age. A baby spiral horned antelope matures in six months to two years for females and five years for males.

How do they reproduce?

When the breeding period starts, male and female spiral horned antelopes have intraspecific competitions with each other, and then, they choose their mate accordingly. Both males and females gain their rights to choosing their mates by winning these mating battles. Spiral horned antelopes are polyandrous animals which means they do not have just one mate, but sometimes, adult males persuades females into submission for the courtship process. The gestation period of a spiral horned antelope lasts between seven and nine months.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation Status of the spiral-horned antelope is Least Concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In recent years, species like the mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoniand) and giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus) have been classified as Vulnerable as they are at risk of becoming endangered. Their population is decreasing due to habitat destruction, overhunting, and hunting by large animals like African lions.

Spiral Horned Antelope Fun Facts

What do spiral horned antelopes look like?

Spiral horned antelopes are brown and white in color. These animals have large horns which are spiral in shape. Male spiral horned antelopes are darker and heavier and also have more spirals in their horns than females. These antelopes look like a mixture of a cow and deer and the female has a beautiful brown coat covered in spots or stripes.

Spiral Horned Antelope

How cute are they?

Whether spiral horned antelopes are cute or not is subjective, but their brown, black and white coat with stripes is elegant, beautiful, and attractive and makes them look quite cute indeed. Many believe that they are the most charismatic antelopes among the family of Bovidae.

How do they communicate?

Although these animals are quiet most of the time, they can be very loud in certain situations. They are capable of having possibly the loudest bark in many areas of Africa. When they feel threatened, they make a sound that resembles a dog barking. A spiral horned antelope also produces sounds like knee clicks, grunting, whining, and gasping.

How big is a spiral horned antelope?

A spiral horned antelope is two times bigger than an average deer. Its height can be around 35.4 in - 43.3 in (90 cm - 110 cm), and its length can be between 5.9 ft - 7.8 ft (1.8 m - 2.4 m). Lesser kudu can weigh between 132 lb - 198 lb (60 kg - 90 kg), while greater kudu can weigh between 419 lb - 595 lb (190 kg - 270 kg).

How fast can a spiral horned antelope run?

Spiral horned antelope adult males (also known as bulls) are fast runners and can run up to 43 mph (70 kmph).

How much does a spiral horned antelope weigh?

The weight of a spiral horned antelope varies between 220 lb - 286 lb (100 kg - 130 kg). The heaviest spiral horned antelope is a giant eland that weighs up to 1,433 lb (650 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Males of the spiral horned antelope species are known as 'bulls' while females are called 'cows'.

What would you call a baby spiral horned antelope?

A baby spiral horned antelope is also called a 'calf'. A calf is born after seven to nine months of gestation and spends its early months hidden in vegetation, wherever its mother hides it. A calf only comes out of hiding when he hears his mother's calls and they only identify their mother's calls and not others.

What do they eat?

Spiral horned antelopes are herbivores (with some exceptions as some species also eat insects and small animals). These animals feed on fruits, flowers, leaves, and barks. They also eat melons, roots, and onions.

Are they aggressive?

Although spiral horned antelopes take part in intraspecific competition with each other, these animals are not aggressive or short-tempered in nature. They are calm and tend to stay away from humans and other animals.

Would they make a good pet?

Spiral Horned Antelopes cannot be pets as they belong in the wild. Some of these animals are kept in zoos, so if you want to see one visiting your nearest zoo is your best bet!

Did you know...

A common eland spiral horned antelope can survive without fresh water for an entire month until it finally locates a water source.

A young common eland calf can jump over a 10 ft (3 m) obstacle just from a standing position.

Nyalas and kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) have shaggy skin coats with stripes and a dark fringe on their throat similar to a beard. These spiral horned antelopes also have the longest spinal crest horns on their head in the species.

What are male and female spiral horned antelopes called?

Spiral horned antelope males are also called bulls, and females are called cows. One noticeable difference between bulls (males) and cows (females) is seen in their horns. Bulls (adult males), especially among greater kudu, have larger and more spiraled horns than females do.

How does the spiral horned antelope's diet change with the seasons?

Some species of spiral horned antelope's diets change with the season as they eat like carnivores and hunt mice in the dry season (when mice come out from hiding for hunting and feeding) and in the rainy season, they feed only on insects due to the scarcity of small animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals, including the hoary bat or the fennec fox.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Spiral Horned Antelope coloring pages.

Written By
Divya Raghav

Divya Raghav dons many hats, that of a writer, a community manager, and a strategist. She was born and raised in Bangalore. After completing her Bachelor’s in Commerce from Christ University, she is pursuing her MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. With diverse experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. She loves to bake, dance, and write content and is an avid animal lover.

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