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(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
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.