nilgai(redirected from nilgais)
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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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(Boselaphus tragocamelus), an even-toed ungulate of the family Bovidae. The male is about 2 m long, has a shoulder height of up to 1.5 m, and weighs about 200 kg. The female is smaller. The males have short horns that have a triangular cross section; the females are hornless. The nilgai is gray with white and black markings and has a small mane. The ungulate is found on the Hindustan Peninsula, where it lives in forests or, less frequently, on plains. The animals stay in small groups or are solitary. They feed on grasses and on the shoots and leaves of trees. Nilgais have no definite mating season. Two offspring constitute a normal litter. Nilgais sometimes damage crops. In the USSR, nilgais are raised in Askaniia-Nova.