With its sleek, tawny coat, large eyes, and curved horns
the male impala is one of the most agile-as well as most common-of all of Africa's
Impalas are sociable animals that travel in herds. Females and young
form herds as large as 100 animals, while males live in small bachelor herds. The herds
occupy a large range and make seasonal migration according to the availability of food.
While most males live together peacefully, dominant males may establish their own territories,
to which they try to attract females. The most successful males are those whose territories
have abundant food. Other males are tolerated as long as they show no interest in the females.
The principal mating season is April through June in the southern
most part of the impala's rang, and from February to April in East Africa. Males do
not search for females; instead, they mate with those that wander into their territories.
When a female is ready to give birth she seeks a secluded spot
away from the herd. After the birth, she and her calf remain seperate from teh
group for several days.When the female rejoins the herd, her calf joins a large
group of calves that are similar in age. Females are not usually sexually mature
until they are two years old. A male is unlikely to win his own territory, or
females until he is four years old, even though he is sexually mature at one year.
Impalas feed mainly on grasses, but they also eat a wide variety
of leaves, fruits, and seeds. The amount they eat of any one food depends on season
and location.In most parts of their range, impalas graze the new protein-rich grasses that
flourish during teh rainy season. When the grasses die during periods of drought,
the animals browse on bushes, herbs, and shrubes. Because preators often lie in wait near
water holes at dusk, impalas drink during the hottest part of the day, when lions are
likely to be asleep.
Height to shoulder: 30-40 in.
Length of Horns: 20-30 in.
Weight: 100-175 lb.
Sexual maturity:13 months, but rarely until 2 years old.
Mating season:Varies with area and climate
Gestions: 6-7 months
No. of young 1
Call:Male roars during mating season
Life Span:Up to 12 years in wild;17 years in capitivity
Impala is the only species in the
genus.There is a subspecies-the
black-faced impala, Aepyceros
DID YOU KNOW?
- The male impala's horns take many years to reach full length.
- Most young impalas are born in the middle of the day,whenpredators are usally resting.
- Impalas are preyed upon by lions,leopards, and cheetahs, so they are constantly on the
alert fo danger.
- Teh male impala produces a scent from his forehead.The greater his rank in teh herd,
the stronger the scent.When males loses his rank, he produces less scent.
- In addition to leaping forward, impalas can also jump straight up and turn in midair
- liveing in herds helps to protect impalas from predators. If the herd is attacked. the impala scatter in all directions
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