Gazelle

Taxobox
name = Gazelle



image_caption = Thomson's Gazelle
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Artiodactyla
familia = Bovidae
subfamilia = Antilopinae
genus = "Gazella"
genus_authority = , 1816
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = Several, see text
A gazelle (ArB|غزال ArTranslit|ġazāl) is an antelope currently or formerly in the genus "Gazella", although the three members of the genus "Procapra" are also widely referred to as gazelles. Two additional genera, "Eudorcas" and "Nanger" now include six species of gazelle that used to be considered members of the genus "Gazella", when "Eudorcas" and "Nanger" were considered subgenera.

Gazelles are known as swift animals; they are able to reach high speeds (as high as 80 kph [ [http://pauldarcy.blogspot.com/2005/12/weird-science-fast-animals.html The Twisted Mind Emporium: Weird Science: Fast Animals ] ] ) for long periods of time. Gazelles are mostly found in the grasslands and savannas of Africa, but they are also found in southwest Asia. They tend to live in herds and will eat less coarse, easily digestible plants and leaves.

The gazelle species are classified as part of the order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae and genera "Gazella", "Eudorcas" and "Nager". Members of the Artiodactyla order are principally distinguished by the foot; they have an even number of toes (the bovid family comprises 6 genera and 12 species). The taxonomy of these genera is a confused one, and the classification of species and subspecies has been an unsettled issue. Three species—the Red Gazelle, the Arabian Gazelle, and the Queen of Sheba's Gazelle—are extinct. All other gazelle species are listed as endangered, to varying degrees.

A recognizable example of the gazelle is Thomson's Gazelle ("Eudorcas thomsonii"), which is around 60 to 90 cm (23 to 35 inches) in height at the shoulder and is coloured brown and white with a distinguishing black stripe (as in the picture on the right). The males have long, often curved, horns. Tommies, as they are familiarly called, exhibit a distinctive behaviour of "stotting" (running slowly and jumping high before fleeing) when they are threatened by predators such as lions or cheetahs. This is a primary piece of evidence for the handicap principle advanced by Amotz Zahavi in the study of animal communication and behaviour.

Gallery


= Species [cite web|title=Antilopinae|url=http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Cetartiodactyla/Antilopinae.html|accessdate=2008-07-01] =

* Genus "Gazella"
** Subgenus "Gazella"
*** Mountain Gazelle, "G. gazella"
*** Neumann's Gazelle, "G. erlangeri"
*** Speke's Gazelle, "G. spekei"
*** Dorcas Gazelle, also known as Ariel Gazelle, "G. dorcas"
*** Saudi Gazelle, "G. saudiya"
*** Chinkara, also known as Indian Gazelle, "G. bennettii"
** Subgenus "Trachelocele"
*** Cuvier's Gazelle, "G. cuvieri"
*** Rhim Gazelle, "G. leptoceros"
*** Goitered Gazelle, "G. subgutturosa"
* Genus "Eudorcas"
** Thomson's Gazelle, "E. thomsonii"
** Red-fronted Gazelle, "E. rufifrons"
* Genus "Nanger"
** Dama Gazelle, "N. dama"
** Grant's Gazelle, "N. granti"
** Soemmerring's Gazelle, "N. soemmerringii"

Extinct

Fossils of genus "Gazella" are found in Pliocene and Pleistocene deposits of Eurasia and Africa. The tiny "Gazella borbonica" is one of the earliest European gazelles, characterized by its small size and short legs. Gazelles disappeared from Europe at the start of Ice Age, but they survived in Africa and Middle East. Three species become extinct in recent times due to human causes.

Recent extinctions

* Genus "Gazella"
** Subgenus "Gazella"
*** Arabian Gazelle, "G. arabica"
*** Queen of Sheba's Gazelle, "G. bilkis"
* Genus "Eudorcas
** Red Gazelle, "E. rufina"

Prehistoric extinctions

* Genus "Gazella"
** "Gazella borbonica" - European Gazelle
** "Gazella thomasi"' - Thomas's Gazelle
** "Gazella praethomsoni"
** "Gazella negevensis"
** "Gazella triquetrucornis"
** "Gazella negevensis"
** "Gazella capricornis"
** "Gazella mytilinii"
* Subgenus "Vetagazella"
** "Gazella sinensis"
** "Gazella deperdita"
** "Gazella pilgrimi"- Steppe Gazelle
** "Gazella leile" - Leile's Gazelle
** "Gazella praegaudryi" - Japanese Gazelle
** "Gazella gaudryi"
** "Gazella paotehensis"
** "Gazella dorcadoides"
** "Gazella altidens"
** "Gazella mongolica" - Mongolian Gazelle
** "Gazella lydekkeri" - Ice Age Gazelle
** "Gazella blacki"
** "Gazella parasinensis"
** "Gazella kueitensis"
** "Gazella paragutturosa"
* Subgenus "Gazella"
** "Gazella janenschi"
* Subgenus "Trachelocele"
** "Gazella atlantica"
** "Gazella tingitana"
* Subgenus "Deprezia"
** "Gazella psolea"
* Genus "Nanger"
** "Nanger vanhoepeni"

References


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