The World’s Weirdest Antelopes (GALLERY)

Hairy Male Nyala

(WILDLIFE/ANIMAL PICTURES) Did you know that there is more than one species of antelope? Do you know how many there are?

Try 97. Most antelopes live in Africa, and they show incredible diversity. All 97 show variety in shape, color, size, pattern and behavior.

It is important to keep all animals in mind when it comes to conservation efforts. Nearly a quarter of all antelope species are threatened with extinction, but they are sometimes forgotten in the hustle and bustle to save other species. Remember these funky antelopes when considering endangered animals!

Royal Antelope

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Hard to imagine that this is even an antelope, huh? The royal antelope is the smallest antelope in the world. As an adult they get to about 25 cm tall at the shoulder, or the size of a rabbit, and at birth they can fit in the palm of the average person’s hand!


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Gerenuk means “giraffe-necked,” and as though this animal isn’t skinny and tall enough, they will stand on their hind legs to reach taller brush to eat.

Four-Horned Antelope, or Chousingha

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

The scientific name is Tetracerus Quadricornis. Only the males have horns, but they are the only antelope with two pairs. The species is listed as vulnerable.

Saiga Antelope

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These antelopes have a long snout which helps them to grab grub.  They are one of the five species of antelope classified as critically endangered.


Photo Credit: Erdogan Aydin

Born with an unfortunate pattern, this antelope’s backside resembles a target.  Despite their name, waterbucks do not spend much time in water, but will hide there to escape predators.

Zebra duiker

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The Zebra duiker (rhymes with “biker”) is unique in its pattern. Cryptozoologists, mean those who study “hidden” animals may mistake this animal for the extinct thyacine, or Tasmanian wolf, for its similar coat.


Photo credit: Arno and Luise Wildlife on flickr

This hairy fella is one among the most decked-out of the antelopes. Hair, stripes, spots, horns, and what’s with those orange legs? They live in dense forests.

Abbot’s Duiker

Abbot's Duiker antelope eating frog
Photo Credit: F. Rovero and T. Jones

Another duiker! Several duikers including this one are strange among antelopes in that they will sometimes eat frogs and small mammals. This species is endangered.

Giant Eland

Giant Eland with zebras
Photo credit: TigerQuoll via Photobucket

The biggest of the antelopes, they can weigh 970-2,000 pounds, and are up to 11 feet tall. That’s up to 200 times the weight of a royal antelope!

— Kristin Hugo, exclusive to Global Animal