Photo Details: Big Eland bull (Tragelaphus oryx) looks up during a grazing session on the surrounding short green vegetation, Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana.
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Canon Rebel XSi 12.2MP); Lens: Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM; Focal Length: 120mm; Shutter speed: 1/40; Aperture: f8; ISO: 400; Date: 29 May 2009, 5.15pm.
Additional Info: The eland is the largest of Africa’s antelope, with males weighing up to 1 000kg (2 200lbs). Shoulder height is around 1.7m (5ft 6in) for adult males, while that of adult females is about 1.5m (5ft).
Both sexes have straight, slightly diverging horns, although the male’s are thicker and heavier with a spiral ridge near the base. Both males and females also have the characteristic, prominent dewlap, which in the males can be fringed or tufted.
Eland are nomadic and occur usually in small herds, but these groups can at times band together to form very large aggregations numbering in the hundreds.
In spite of their huge size, eland are prodigious jumpers and can easily clear fences 2m (6ft 6in) high. Says Richard Depard Estes (The Behavior Guide to African Mammals): “Fleeing elands often diplay their prowess by jumping effortlessly right over a neighbor, and youngsters can sail over a 3m (10ft) fence from a standing jump”
Although they are predominanty browsers, Eland will happily graze on fresh, sprouting grass and they can survive without water, obtaining their liquid requirements from their food.
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