Gazelles


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Gazelles

 

a collective name for seven genera of ungulates similar in appearance and size (of the 15 genera which compose the subfamily of true antelopes, Antilopinae). The representatives of the eight remaining genera are called pygmy antelopes. Gazelles are small animals with a light, slender build and lyrate horns. The gazelles comprise 19 species, which are widely distributed over the desert and steppe regions of North and East Africa, Southwest and Central Asia, and northwest India. They are polygamous animals living in herds of up to several hundred individuals. They feed on grassy vegetation. Gazelles are known for their great speed, and they frequently migrate over a wide area. The females annually bear one or two young. They are valuable for hunting and commercial purposes, and their flesh, skin, and horns are all utilized. Most species are sharply declining in number and need protection. Two species are found in the USSR, the Persian gazelle and the Mongolian gazelle.

REFERENCE

Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1. Edited by V. G. Geptner and N. P. Naumov. Moscow, 1961.

O. L. ROSSOLIMO

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