Fun Blackbuck Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Feb 29, 2024 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Learn more about this mammal by reading these Blackbuck facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

The Blackbuck, scientifically known as Antilope cervicapra derives its name from the Latin word 'Antalopus' meaning horned animal, and the word 'cervicapra' is derived from two Latin words 'cervus' which means deer, and 'capra' meaning she-goat. The Blackbuck is also known as the Indian Antelope. The Blackbucks are herbivores and are generally found in open woodlands and grasslands, semi-desert areas, areas with thorns, and deciduous forests where grasslands are available. The lifespan of a Blackbuck is 12 years on average. They are known for their slender build. They have white fur on the chin and around the eyes which are in contrast with the black stripes on their face. The Blackbucks are diurnal animals and thus, are less active at noon when the temperature rises in summer. The male Blackbucks are generally larger and darker than the females. Only two young ones are reproduced in a year. The Blackbucks are sold for their meat meaning, illegal killing and poaching take place which is one of the major threats to these animals. The Blackbucks are known to be associated with Indian culture and history and hold some significance in Hindu mythology which makes this animal seem all the more interesting. Read on to learn about this antelope species that is endangered in India.  

If you like this article and want to read more animal facts, check out the plains zebra and zonkey.

Blackbuck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Blackbuck?

The Blackbuck belongs to the family of Antelopes.

What class of animal does a Blackbuck belong to?

The Blackbucks belong to the category of mammals.

How many Blackbucks are there in the world?

While there is no recent data stating the number of Blackbucks in the world, it has been reported that the population of the Blackbucks has been declining mainly due to habitat conversion.

Where does a Blackbuck live?

The Blackbucks are found in open woodlands and grasslands, semi-deserts areas, and deciduous forests where grasslands are available. The Blackbucks are native to the Indian subcontinent and are found in Nepal and India.

What is a Blackbuck's habitat?

The Blackbucks tend to live in semi-desert regions, thorn and dry forests, scrublands, and open woodlands. This habitat is due to the reason of availability of grasslands to feed on. They also tend to refuge under the shade of trees at noon or hide around them from potential predators.

Who do Blackbucks live with?

Usually, the Blackbucks live in herds ranging from 5-50 Blackbucks. The herd size is not constant and depends on the nature of the habitat and availability of fodder. Herds tend to smaller in the summer season.

How long does a Blackbuck live?

The lifespan of a Blackbuck ranges from 12-18 years. Females tend to live longer than males.

How do they reproduce?

The female Blackbucks become sexually mature when they are eight months old but do not mate till two years of age while the males mature at one and a half years of age. While mating takes place throughout the year, two peaking seasons have been observed in India, that is, from March-April and from August-October. Male Blackbucks tend to be aggressive during this time to defend their territory and engage in fights by loudly grunting and pushing each other by the use of horns. The dominant male goes after females by pointing its nose upwards and smelling the urine. The females reciprocate by waving its tail and thumping their legs on the ground. The copulation process may take up to six hours after which the female might remain still and the male moves to mate with another female. The gestation period is six months long after which a calf is born.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Blackbuck is Near Threatened as the Blackbuck population has started declining mainly due to habitat conversion in India, and the status is Least Concern globally.

Blackbuck Fun Facts

What do Blackbucks look like?

The Blackbuck is a species in which the males and females have a different appearance. The adult males are dark brown above, on the side, and on the outside of the legs whereas females are yellowish in these same areas. Both males and females have white underparts and insides of the legs along with white fur on the chin and around the eyes with black stripes on the face. Only the males have horns which are ringed at the base and twisted spirally. The tails of the blackbucks are short and hooves are delicate and pointed.

How cute are they?

The Blackbucks are thought to be as beautiful, slender, and graceful because of their built and physical appearance, specifically the white fur and the patch around the eyes which contrasts with the black stripes on its face. The young ones could come across as cute.

How do they communicate?

Communication among Blackbucks takes place through means like sounds, body movements, and scent signals. For instance, they whistle in a 'dik-dik' manner to communicate a warning. There are certain glands present in hooves, which release scents when they move. This scent helps individuals in a herd detect which way the herd is moving if separated. During mating, the males pursue females by smelling their urine and pointing its nose upwards while the female responds by waving its tail and thumping its legs on the ground.

How big is a Blackbuck?

A Blackbuck could be up to 47 in (1200 mm) long and its weight ranges from 70-126 lb (32-57 kg).  Males tend to be heavier than females.

How fast can a Blackbuck run?

The Blackbuck can run at a speed of 50 mph (80 kmph).

How much does a Blackbuck weigh?

The weight of an adult male Blackbuck ranges from 44-126 lb (20-57 kg) and the weight of a female blackbuck ranges from 44-73 lb (20-33 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the two sexes of the species.

What would you call a baby Blackbuck?

The baby Blackbuck is called a calf.

What do they eat?

As the Blackbucks are herbivores, they tend to feed on grasslands, also prefer sedges and live oak. They also tend to raid crops and eat cultivated cereals like sorghum and millet.

Are they aggressive?

While Blackbucks are usually considered to be silent, they tend to be aggressive during rutting. They could be highly aggressive when marking their territory by engaging in head-to-head fights by pushing others using their horns.

Would they make a good pet?

Since it is illegal to keep a Blackbuck as a pet, special permission might be required which could prove difficult to get. The Blackbuck, anyway, is not a great pet option as it requires high and costly maintenance along with extra care which could be too much.

Did you know...

The gestation period lasts six months after which a calf is born and the young one can stand on its own just after birth. They are light yellow in color and an infant male may have a black colored patch on its head and neck.

Blackbucks are considered to be social animals as they usually live in herds but are also considered to be shy and wary because of past killings and hunting. While hunting Blackbucks is illegal in India, there are ranches offering Blackbuck hunts in Texas.

These animals tend to be diurnal based on the season and are diurnal during the cold season whereas, in the hot season, they tend to be most active during early mornings and late afternoons and rest in shade at other times.  

They do not possess a very strong sense of smell and hearing and thus, rely on their eyesight to spot danger. Though they possess a great speed of running, cheetahs can easily outrun them.

There is a trucking company named BlackBuck with the endangered species as its logo.

How many Blackbucks are left in the world?

There is no exact number reported for the number of Blackbucks in the world. It has been recorded that the number of these animals is declining in India and they are endangered, while there remains a steady population in the southern United States.

Is Blackbuck a deer?

Though both the animals might look similar and have certain common features, there exists a difference between the two. While the horns of males deer shed and grow every year, the Blackbuck horns are permanent and the horns of the deer are branched while they are not branched in male antelope species. Another major difference is that deers belong to the Cervidae group while Blackbuck antelope belong to the Bovidae one.

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 pudu, or addax.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Blackbuck coloring pages.

Blackbuck Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Short grass, cultivated cereals

What Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

1

How Much Did They Weigh?

70-126 lb (32-57 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

open grasslands and woodlands, semi-desert areas

Where Do They Live?

Indian subcontinent, southern united states

How Long Were They?

47 in (1200 mm)

How Tall Were They?

29-33 in (737-838 mm)

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Antilope

Family

Bovidae

Scientific Name

Antilope cervicapra

What Do They Look Like?

Brown and yellowish

Skin Type

N/A

What Are Their Main Threats?

humans, wolves, habitat destruction

What is their Conservation Status?

Near Threatened (India), Least Concern (Globally)
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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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