|| BLACK BUCK ||
|| FACTS ABOUT BLACK BUCK ||
(1)The most striking feature of blackbucks is the long, spiraling horns of the adult male which have ridges from the base to almost the tips. They can grow as long as 20-24 inches. The longest horns on record measure more than 28 inches! Females do not possess horns.
(2) Mature male blackbucks have a black and white coloration which is very different from the reddish yellow hue of immature males and females. This kind of extreme male-female contrast is not found in any of the relatives of the blackbuck.
(3) While the males have an average weight of 34-45 kg, females weigh around 31-39 kg and are only a little shorter than the males. Both male and females have white patches around their eyes, on their inner legs, mouth, underside, and on the rump.
(4) The black colour of male blackbucks fades in winter and turns almost brown by the time the April heat comes, after the annual molting period. Their colour however can be differentiated from the females and immature males as it is still a darker tint. A certain blackbuck population in south India never becomes black.
(5) These animals reproduce two young ones in a year and carry their baby for six months. Only the territorial male blackbucks reproduce in order to defend their territories which can be as small as 20 acres. They mark their territory by depositing dung middens and black preorbital secretions on bushes and stems.
(6) Blackbucks are as fast as any antelopes and rely on their eyesight to steer clear of danger. The cheetah can outrun them and Mughals used the big cats for hunting purposes. Jackals and pariah dogs are their main predators now and they mainly prey on the fawns.
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