Black Wildebeest (Connochates gnou)

Black Wildebeest (Connochates gnou) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Black Wildebeest

  • Diet: - Herbivore
  • Shoulder Height: - 1.18 m
  • Weight: - Male - 180 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 165 kg
  • Lifespan - 20 years

Description

Black Wildebeest with its distinctive white tail © SA Tourism

The black wildebeest are found naturally only in South Africa in savannah grasslands. They stay in smallish herds of up to 50 head and tend to graze in the same area for long periods It is not necessary for them to drink water every day. They are robust and do not need shade and rarely look for shelter.

They have black to light brown hair, shorter hair in the summer and longer hair in winter with a distinctive long white tail. Females are lighter coloured than males. Both sexes have a dark beard and a shaggy mane with raised hair on top of their necks. Two cow-like horns protrude from the top of the head.

Male wildebeest are highly territorial and will fight over possession of a female. A single calf is born after a gestation period of 8 - 9 months. Calves are able to stand after 9 minutes and graze with the rest of the herd within a month.

Other Names for the Black Wildebeest

  • White tailed Gnu
  • Swartwildebees

Distribution

Distribution map of the Black Wildebeest
Distribution map of the Black Wildebeest

Taxonomy of the Black Wildebeest

  • Order - Artiodactyla
  • Family - Bovidae
  • Sub Family - Alcelaphinae
  • Genus - Connochaetes
  • Species - Connochaetes gnou

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