hartebeest

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hartebeest

hartebeest (härˈtĭbēstˌ), large African antelope, Alcelaphus bucelaphus. The hartebeest resembles a horse with horns. It has a very long face and a small hump between the shoulders; its coat is fawn or reddish and its ringed horns curve up and inward in a U shape. Most kinds of hartebeest stand about 4 ft (120 cm) at the shoulder and weigh about 400 lb (180 kg). Swift animals of the plains, hartebeests usually live in herds of around a dozen animals and are often found associated with other herd animals, such as zebras, gnus, and gazelles. The hartebeest has several subspecies, distributed through most of Africa. Although these are given different common names (e.g., the kongoni, or Coke's hartebeest, of E Africa), they are quite similar in appearance and behavior and interbreed readily. The N African bubal or bulbul is an extinct subspecies that was known to the Romans and was very numerous until the 19th cent., and Swayne's hartebeest, a small Ethiopian subspecies, is in danger of extinction. The hirola, Beatragus hunteri, an antelope related to the hartebeest, is also known as Hunter's hartebeest; it has a long, narrow face resembling that of the hartebeests. Found on the border of Kenya and Somalia, it is an endangered species. The hirola was formerly classified as a damalisk. The hartebeest is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hartebeest

 

(Alcelaphus caama), an artiodactyl mammal of the family Cavicornia, a member of the group of bubaline antelopes. Body length, up to 230 cm; height at withers, up to 150 cm; weight, up to 180 kg. The hartebeest has a well-proportioned body with slender legs. Both the male and the female have short horns with two sharp curves. The tail is approximately 30 cm long and is covered with long hairs; there is no tuft at its tip. The hartebeest is reddish in color, with a white patch, or “mirror”, on the haunches; its head, legs, tail, and thighs are partially black. The hartebeest is found on the savannas of southern Africa. It stays in small groups of five to ten individuals and feeds on grass and leaves. It is hunted for its meat and skin. In many regions the hartebeest is in danger of extinction.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

hartebeest

, hartbeest
1. either of two large African antelopes, Alcelaphus buselaphus or A. lichtensteini, having an elongated muzzle, lyre-shaped horns, and a fawn-coloured coat
2. any similar and related animal, such as Damaliscus hunteri (Hunter's hartebeest)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005