Temporal range: Late Miocene to Recent
Maxwell's Duiker, Cephalophus maxwellii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Cephalophinae
Gray, 1871


A duiker (play /ˈdkər/) is any of about 19 small to medium-sized antelope species from the subfamily Cephalophinae native to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Common Duiker.

Duikers are shy and elusive creatures with a fondness for dense cover; most are forest dwellers and even the species living in more open areas are quick to disappear into thickets. Their name comes from the Afrikaans/Dutch word for diver and refers to their practice of diving into tangles of shrubbery.

With a slightly arched body and the front legs a little shorter than the hind legs, they are well-shaped to penetrate thickets. They are primarily browsers rather than grazers, eating leaves, shoots, seeds, fruit, buds and bark, and often follow flocks of birds or troops of monkeys to take advantage of the fruit they drop. They supplement their diet with meat: duikers take insects and carrion from time to time, and even stalk and capture rodents or small birds. The Blue Duiker has a fondness for ants.



  • Colyn, M. et al. 2010: Discovery of a new duiker species (Bovidae: Cephalophinae) from the Dahomey Gap, West Africa. Zootaxa, 2637: 1-30. Preview

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Duiker — ist der Name von Johannes Duiker (auch Jan Duiker; 1890−1935), niederländischer Architekt und Autor K. Sello Duiker (eigentlich Kabelo Duiker; 1974−2005), südafrikanischer Schriftsteller Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • duiker — [dī′kər] n. pl. duikers or duiker [Du duiker, lit., a diver < duiken, to DUCK2] any of several small African antelopes (as genera Cephalophus and Sylvicapra) common south of the Sahara …   English World dictionary

  • Duiker —   [ dœjkər], Jan, niederländischer Architekt, * Den Haag 1. 3. 1890, ✝ Amsterdam 23. 2. 1935; beeinflusst von der Bauhausarchitektur, Mitglied der Stijl Gruppe. Duiker bestimmte mit seinen Stahlbetonbauten wesentlich das Bild der modernen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • duiker — ● duiker nom masculin Petite antilope au pelage gris, d Afrique tropicale …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • duiker — /duy keuhr/, n., pl. duikers, (esp. collectively) duiker. any of several small African antelopes of the Cephalophus, Sylvicapra, and related genera, the males and often the females having short, spikelike horns: some are endangered. [1770 80; <… …   Universalium

  • duiker — Cualquiera de 19 especies de pequeños antílopes tímidos. Habitan gran parte de África, pero raras veces son vistos por los seres humanos. El duiker gris o de la sabana (Sylvicapra grimmia) tiene patas largas y vive en las sabanas con matorrales o …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • duiker — dui•ker [[t]ˈdaɪ kər[/t]] n. pl. kers, (esp. collectively) ker. mam any small African antelope of the genera Cephalophus and Sylvicapra, having short spikelike horns • Etymology: 1770–80; < Afrik, D duiker diver …   From formal English to slang

  • duiker — /ˈdaɪkə/ (say duykuh) noun (plural duikers, duiker) any of the small African antelopes with spike like horns (usually on the males only), which plunge through and under bushes instead of leaping over them and which are included in two genera,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • duiker — n. 1 (also duyker) any African antelope of the genus Cephalophus, usu. having a crest of long hair between its horns. 2 S.Afr. the long tailed cormorant, Phalacrocorax africanus. Etymology: Du. duiker diver: in sense 1, from plunging through… …   Useful english dictionary

  • duiker — noun Etymology: Afrikaans, literally, diver, from duik to dive, from Middle Dutch dūken; akin to Old High German tūhhan to dive more at duck Date: 1777 any of several small African antelopes comprising two genera (Cephalophus and Sylvicapra) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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