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gnu

(no͞o) or

wildebeest

(wĭl`dəbēst'), large African antelopeantelope,
name applied to any of a large number of hoofed, ruminant mammals of the cattle family (Bovidae), which also includes the bison, buffalo, sheep, and goats. Found in Africa and Eurasia, they range in size from pygmy antelopes, 12 in.
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, genus Connochaetes. Its heavy head and humped shoulders resemble those of a buffalo, while the compact hindquarters are like those of a horse. The gnu has a beard, a short, erect mane, and a long, flowing tail. Members of both sexes have large horns that curve down, outward, and up. Gnus are grazing animals and live in herds on open grassland. They constantly move in an effort to locate new pastures. The sight of a gnu migration, with its distinctive style of movement, is perhaps the most impressive group event in the animal kingdom. There are two species. The brindled gnu, or blue wildebeest (C. taurinus), is a large, fierce-looking animal of S and E Africa. It stands 4 1-2 ft (135 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 500 lb (225 kg); its coat is bluish-gray mottled with brown on the sides. The tail, mane, and beard are black. In the northern variety of this species (called the white-bearded gnu), which ranges as far N as Kenya, the beard is white. The brindled gnu lives in herds of 20 to several thousand individuals, often led by one or several old females and often found grazing with herds of zebra. Gnus are swift runners and herds engage in elaborate evasive maneuvers when threatened; their chief predator is the lion. They graze in the morning and evening, resting during the heat of the day; they often travel long distances in search of water. The white-tailed gnu, or black wildebeest (C. gnou), is a somewhat smaller animal once abundant in S Africa. It is now probably extinct in the wild, but is protected in parks and reserves, where its numbers are increasing. Gnu is the San (Bushman) term for these animals; wildebeest is Afrikaans. Gnus are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.

Gnu

 

(Connochaetes) a genus of large cloven-hoof mammals with massive bodies. The body length of a gnu may be 2 m, the height at the withers 1.3 m, the tail length 35—55 cm, and the weight as much as 275 kg. The head is heavy and the horns sharply bent. The body is covered with short brownish-gray hair, which is longer on the tail, the neck, and the areas around the mane and “beard.”

The gnu is a polygamous herding animal that inhabits the broad open plains of eastern and southern Africa. It makes seasonal migrations, feeding on various kinds of grassy vegetation. Mating occurs in June, with a gestation period of eight or nine months and one offspring at a time. The genus comprises two species: the whitetailed gnu (C. gnou), found in southern Africa to the south of the Limpopo River, and the brindled gnu (Gorgon taurinus), found throughout eastern Africa from the Orange River to Uganda. The gnu is hunted for its meat and hide, and its numbers are dwindling. It is now numerous only in protected territories. The gnu readily endures captivity and reproduces well. In the USSR it has been successfully acclimated in Askania-Nova.

O. L. ROSSOLIMO

gnu

[]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several large African antelopes of the genera Connochaetes and Gorgon having a large oxlike head with horns that characteristically curve downward and outward and then up, with the bases forming a frontal shield in older individuals.

GNU

[gə′nü]
(computer science)
Freely distributed software for producing and distributing nonproprietary software that is compatible with Unix, but is not Unix.

gnu

either of two sturdy antelopes, Connochaetes taurinus (brindled gnu) or the much rarer C. gnou (white-tailed gnu), inhabiting the savannas of Africa, having an oxlike head and a long tufted tail

GNU

(body, project)
/g*noo/ 1. A recursive acronym: "GNU's Not Unix!". The Free Software Foundation's project to provide a freely distributable replacement for Unix. The GNU Manifesto was published in the March 1985 issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal but the GNU project started a year and a half earlier when Richard Stallman was trying to get funding to work on his freely distributable editor, Emacs.

Emacs and the GNU C compiler, gcc, two tools designed for this project, have become very popular. GNU software is available from many GNU archive sites.

See also Hurd.

2. <person> John Gilmore.

GNU

(GNU's Not Unix) A Unix-like operating system developed by the free software movement starting in 1984. In 1992, the almost-complete GNU system was combined with the Linux kernel, producing the GNU/Linux system. The GNU Project developed many of the core programs in GNU, but also included available free software such as the X Window System and TeX. See GNU Project, GNU/Linux, Free Software Foundation, free software and Linux.