Physical characteristics

The Reduncini is an assemblage of medium to large species, the males having strongly ridged horns that are short and curve forward at the tips in reedbucks, but long and lyre-shaped in most Kobus species. The reedbucks are pale brown in color, with short hair. Kobus species have a long, rough coat. Color varies from yellowish brown to mid-brown or bright chestnut, males being darker, some almost black. The under-parts are white, and there is also white on the rump and of ten on the face. Lechwes are higher at the hindquarters than at the shoulders, and have long pointed hooves and large pseudo-claws, an adaptation to their semi-aquatic existence. The smallest species, the gray rhebok, is lightly built with short, almost vertical horns and a grayish woolly coat.

With the exception of the impala, the Alcelaphini are medium to large, with horns in both sexes, either smooth and initially curving downward (Connochaetes) or upright, ridged basally and twisted (other genera). They have long heads, elevated shoulders, and thin legs. Color varies from gray to reddish brown or almost black. Wildebeests have a mane, a beard, and a very long, tufted tail; the black wildebeest also has a tuft of stiff hairs on the face. The impala is medium sized, slender and gazelle-like, with long, lyrate horns only in the male.

The Hippotragini are large and horse-like, with a long, tufted tail. Both sexes have long, ridged horns that may be straight, backwardly curved, or spirally twisted. All species except the addax have a mane. Colors range from white, cream, or gray (desert species) to chestnut; sable bulls are black. There is often a conspicuous head pattern. Desert species have large, widely splayed hooves for traveling in sand. The extinct blue antelope was a smaller, lightly built species, standing only 3.3-3.9 ft (100-120 cm) high at the shoulder, with a blue-gray coat and curved, swept-back horns.

Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) at a waterhole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. (Photo by Animals Animals ©Ana Laura Gonzalez. Reproduced by permission.)
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