Chousingha

Tetracerus quadricornis

TAXONOMY

Tetracerus quadricornis (de Blainville, 1816), India. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Four-horned antelope; French: Tetracere; German: Vierhornantiope.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body length 31.4-43.3 in (80-110 cm); shoulder height 21.6-25.5 in (55-65 cm); tail length 3.9-5.9 in (10-15 cm); weight 33-55 lb (15-25 kg). Unique among Bovinae because the males have two pairs of horns longer pair is 1.9-4.7 in (5-12 cm), smooth, and black, positioned at the top of the head just anterior to the ears; second pair is much smaller, between 0.7-1.5 in (2-4 cm) long, and located on the forehead well between the orbits. Females are hornless, and they exhibit little sexual dimorphism. Pelage is brown to reddish brown on the back, getting lighter on the sides and changing to white along the abdomen and insides of the legs. The anterior surface of each leg is dark brown. The rostrum and forehead is dark brown to blackish. The outer surfaces of the ears are colored similarly and they have an almost-black rim. The upper lip along the sides is white as is beneath the jaw. This changes to a brown neck that is lighter than the back and sides.

DISTRIBUTION

Occur in thickets and wooded areas across most of India and into Nepal; absent from northeast India and the southern quarter of the Indian Peninsula. Occur in many parks and nature reserves, but are increasingly absent from lands outside these protected areas.

HABITAT

Occupy a variety of habitats such as dry deciduous, dry deciduous scrub, and southern tropical moist mixed deciduous forest types. Many of these forests occur in hilly terrain, but have some flatter areas providing small grassy openings. They frequent these meadows and other small openings, but never stray far from dense thickets of bushes or bamboo where they quickly retreat when disturbed. These landscapes are generally dissected with streams and small rivers, and they are frequently seen near water.

BEHAVIOR

Normally found as solitary or in groups of two. During the rut, males are aggressive towards other males. Individuals seem to occupy the same home range year-round.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Eat a variety of plants and plant parts. As they travel their diverse habitats, they consume leaves of shrubs, shoots, fruit, and grasses.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Mating occurs over a somewhat protracted breeding season from June through September and coincides with monsoon rainy season. Polygynous. Gestation is 7.5-8 months; most young are born February through March. Adult females give birth to between one to three young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Classified as Vulnerable. Although they are still widely distributed in their historical range, local populations face threats from hunting for meat and loss of habitat to deforestation as well as degradation of habitat due to grazing by livestock. Other conservation concerns are that the areas occupied by chousingha are increasingly becoming isolated as habitat fragmentation proceeds through agricultural practices.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

The species has little significance to humans other than its unique curiosity as the only mammal with four horns. ♦

Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior

Distribution

Diel

Conservation status

European bison Bison bonasus Spanish: Bisonte europeo

Gaur

Bos frontalis French: Gaur

Banteng Bos javanicus French: Banteng

Kouprey Bos sauveli

French: Boeuf gris cambodgien; Spanish: Kouprey, toro cuprey

Nilgai

Boselaphus tragocamelus

Anoa

Bubalus depressicornis French: Anoa des plaines; Spanish: Anoa de ilanura

Bushbuck

Tragelaphus scriptus

[continued]

Short hair in neck area, pelage is same color as relatives. Horns are well-developed. Average female weight 6621,190 lb (300-540 kg), male 8822,028 lb (400-920 kg).

Coat is short, dense, and dark brown. Lower legs white to tan, dewlap under shin extends between front legs. Shoulder hump pronounced in adult males. Horns found on both sexes. Bulging gray-tan ridge connects horns on forehead. Head and body length 98130 in (250-330 cm), shoulder height 67-87 in (170-220 cm), tail length 2739 in (70-100 cm), weight 1,543-2,205 lb (700-1,000 kg ).

Males are dark chestnut brown, cows and juveniles are reddish brown. Both sexes carry horns. Considered the most beautiful of all wild cattle. Adult male weight 1,400-1,760 lb (635-798 kg), females 1,320-1,500 lb (600-680 kg). Average life in wild is 11 years.

Dark brown or black. Body is massive, legs are long, backs are humped.

Temperate coniferous forest like Bialowieza. For feeding, prefer areas of vegetation at least 20 years old. Remain in large groups during winter and break into male-oriented groups during calving season. Most of life is spent feeding and resting.

Tropical woodlands, but have been largely disturbed. Diurnal, live in groups led by a single male.

Extinct except where reintroduced — eastern Poland, western Russia, and Caucasus Mountains.

India; Nepal; Myanmar; Thailand; south Tibet and Yunnan, China; southern Vietnam; Cambodia; and Peninsular Malaysia.

Grasses, mosses, trees, and shrubs.

Endangered

Grasses, shoots, and fruit.

Vulnerable

Open, dry, deciduous forests. Myanmar, Thailand, and Grasses, bamboo,

Endangered

Generally occur in groups of 10-30 individuals.

Prefer open deciduous forests, grasslands, wooded grasslands, and patches of closed monsoon forest. Nocturnal.

Indochina south to northern Peninsular Malaysia; Java; Borneo; introduced to Australia, Bali Island, Sangihe and Enggano Islands; and domesticated in Southeast Asia.

Cambodia, southeast Thailand, southern Laos, and western Vietnam.

leaves, fruit, and young branches of woody shrubs.

Primarily grazers, but will also consume fruit.

Large body with short, smooth horns in Ranges from level ground and Eastern Pakistan and Mixed feeders, preferring males. Gray to brownish gray in males, thin brush with scattered females and young are brown to orangish. trees, to cultivated plains. Patches of white on face and below chin. Usually herd in small groups White "beard" or tufts of hair present. of 10 individuals. Stands 46-60 in (119-150 cm) at the s houlder. Weight 240-275 lb (109306 kg).

northern India south to Bombay and Mysore; and introduced into Texas, United States.

browse, short grass, and agricultural crops.

Critically Endangered

Lower Risk/

Conservation

Dependent

Young have thick, yellowish brown, woolly hair. Adults have thick, black skin with white or yellowish white stockings on each foreleg. Sometimes there are blotches of white on throat or nape.

Lowland forests Including secondary formations and swampy areas, along coasts, and also at high elevations In mountainous areas.

Sulawesi.

Grasses, ferns, saplings, palm, ginger, and fallen fruit.

Endangered

Horns are triangular and wrinkled. Weight Aggressive toward humans.

Males have horns that spiral once and are parallel to one another. Both sexes have white spots and stripes, patterns vary geographically. Weight ranges from 88 to 176 lb (40-80 kg), males being larger than females.

Can live up to 30 years.

Forest edges or brushy covers near rivers or streams. Aggressive, nocturnal, good swimmers. Generally solitary, but have been seen in small groups.

Southern Mauritania to Ethiopia and southern Somalia, and south to northern Namibia and South Africa.

Herbs,leaves, twigs, and flowers.

Not threatened

Common name /

Scientific name/

Physical

Habitat and

Conservation

Other common names

characteristics

behavior

Distribution

Diet

status

Greater kudu

Tallest antelopes, shoulder heights range

Areas where adequate cover

Southern Chad,

Herbs, fruits, vines,

Lower Risk/

Tragelaphus strepsiceros

from 39 to 60 in (100-150 cm). Large

is provided, including bushes

northern Central African

flowers, and some new

Conservation

horns, body coloration varies from

and thickets. Live in

Republic, western and

grass.

Dependent

reddish brown to blue-gray, with darkest

temporary groups of one to

eastern Sudan, north-

individuals in southern populations. Six to

three individuals.

east Uganda, Ethiopia

ten stripes along backs, tails tipped with

and Somalia south and

white undersides. Males have beards.

southwest to South

Average weight 265-695 lb (120-315 kg).

Africa, Namibia, Angola

and southeast

Democratic Republic of

the Congo (Zaire).

Mountain nyala

Coat is grayish chestnut or sandy gray-

High-altitude woodland,

Ethiopia, east of Rift

Herbs, shrubs, grasses,

Threatened

Tragelaphus buxtoni

brown. Males are larger than females and

bush, heath, moorland, and

Valley.

ferns, and lichens.

have spiral-shaped horns. Head and body

valley-bottom grassland.

length 75-102 in (190-260 cm), tail

Travels in small groups of

length 7-10 in (20-25cm), adult weight

two to 13 animals.

330-660 lb (150-300 kg).

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