Kudu
Overview
The kudus are two species of antelope
Antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

 of the genus Tragelaphus
Tragelaphus
The genus Tragelaphus contains several species of bovine, all of which are relatively antelope-like. Species in this genus tend to be large sized, lightly built, have long necks and considerable sexual dimorphism. The Common Eland was once classified in this genus as T. oryz...

:
  • Lesser Kudu
    Lesser Kudu
    The lesser kudu is a forest antelope found in East Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. The southern lesser kudu is a subspecies found in Kenya and Tanzania....

    , Tragelaphus imberbis
  • Greater Kudu
    Greater Kudu
    The Greater Kudu is a woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas, due to a declining habitat, deforestation and hunting....

    , Tragelaphus strepsiceros

The name of the animal was imported into English in the 18th century from isiXhosa iqudu, via Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 koedoe.
Lesser Kudu
Lesser Kudu
The lesser kudu is a forest antelope found in East Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. The southern lesser kudu is a subspecies found in Kenya and Tanzania....

s come from the savanna
Savanna
A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

s near acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

 and commiphora
Commiphora
Commiphora is a genus of flowering plants in the family Burseraceae. It includes about 185 species of trees and shrubs, often armed or thorny, native to Africa, Arabia, and the Indian subcontinent.-Uses:...

 shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s. They have to rely on thickets for protection, so they are hardly ever seen in the open.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The kudus are two species of antelope
Antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

 of the genus Tragelaphus
Tragelaphus
The genus Tragelaphus contains several species of bovine, all of which are relatively antelope-like. Species in this genus tend to be large sized, lightly built, have long necks and considerable sexual dimorphism. The Common Eland was once classified in this genus as T. oryz...

:
  • Lesser Kudu
    Lesser Kudu
    The lesser kudu is a forest antelope found in East Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. The southern lesser kudu is a subspecies found in Kenya and Tanzania....

    , Tragelaphus imberbis
  • Greater Kudu
    Greater Kudu
    The Greater Kudu is a woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas, due to a declining habitat, deforestation and hunting....

    , Tragelaphus strepsiceros

Etymology

The name of the animal was imported into English in the 18th century from isiXhosa iqudu, via Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 koedoe.

Habitat

Lesser Kudu
Lesser Kudu
The lesser kudu is a forest antelope found in East Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. The southern lesser kudu is a subspecies found in Kenya and Tanzania....

s come from the savanna
Savanna
A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

s near acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

 and commiphora
Commiphora
Commiphora is a genus of flowering plants in the family Burseraceae. It includes about 185 species of trees and shrubs, often armed or thorny, native to Africa, Arabia, and the Indian subcontinent.-Uses:...

 shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s. They have to rely on thickets for protection, so they are hardly ever seen in the open. Their drab brown and striped pelts help them disappear in scrub environments.

Behavior

Like many other antelope, male kudu can be found in bachelor groups, but they are more likely to be solitary. Their dominance displays tend not to last long and are generally fairly peaceful, consisting of one male making himself look big by making his hair stand on end. When males do have a face-off, they will lock their horns in a competition to determine the stronger puller; kudus' necks enlarge during the mating season for this reason. Sometimes two competing males are unable to unlock their horns and, if unable to disengage, will die of starvation or dehydration. Males are seen with females only in the mating season, when they join in groups of 5-15 kudus, including offspring. Calves grow very quickly and at six months are fairly independent of their mothers.

Pregnant females will leave the herd
Herd
Herd refers to a social grouping of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic, and also to the form of collective animal behavior associated with this or as a verb, to herd, to its control by another species such as humans or dogs.The term herd is generally applied to mammals,...

 to give birth to a single offspring. She will leave the newborn lying hidden for 4–5 weeks while coming back only to nurse it, which is the longest amount of time for any antelope species. Then the calf will start meeting its mother for short periods. At 3 or 4 month
Month
A month is a unit of time, used with calendars, which was first used and invented in Mesopotamia, as a natural period related to the motion of the Moon; month and Moon are cognates. The traditional concept arose with the cycle of moon phases; such months are synodic months and last approximately...

s the calf will be with its mother constantly, and at about 6 months they will permanently join the group.

When threatened, the kudu will often run away rather than fight. Wounded bulls have been known to charge the attacker, hitting the attacker with their sturdy horn base rather than stabbing it. Wounded females can keep running for many miles without stopping to rest for more than a minute. They are great kickers and are capable of breaking a wild dog
African Wild Dog
Lycaon pictus is a large canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf...

's or jackal
Jackal
Although the word jackal has been historically used to refer to many small- to medium-sized species of the wolf genus of mammals, Canis, today it most properly and commonly refers to three species: the black-backed jackal and the side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan Africa, and the golden jackal of...

's neck or back. They are good jumpers and can clear a 5-foot fence from a standing start.

Diet

Kudus are browsers
Browsing (predation)
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high growing, generally woody, plants such as shrubs. This is contrasted with grazing, usually associated with animals feeding on grass or other low vegetation...

 and eat leaves
Leaves
-History:Vocalist Arnar Gudjonsson was formerly the guitarist with Mower, and he was joined by Hallur Hallsson , Arnar Ólafsson , Bjarni Grímsson , and Andri Ásgrímsson . Late in 2001 they played with Emiliana Torrini and drew early praise from the New York Times...

 and shoots. In dry seasons, they eat wild watermelon
Watermelon
Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

s and other fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 for the liquid and natural sugars they provide. The lesser Kudu is less dependent on water sources than the greater kudu.

Predators and threats

Many predators, such as big cats, wild dogs, hyena
Hyena
Hyenas or Hyaenas are the animals of the family Hyaenidae of suborder feliforms of the Carnivora. It is the fourth smallest biological family in the Carnivora , and one of the smallest in the mammalia...

s and pythons hunt
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 kudu and their young. Kudu numbers are also affected by human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 them for their meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

, hides and horn
Horn (anatomy)
A horn is a pointed projection of the skin on the head of various animals, consisting of a covering of horn surrounding a core of living bone. True horns are found mainly among the ruminant artiodactyls, in the families Antilocapridae and Bovidae...

s, or using their habitat
Habitat
* Habitat , a place where a species lives and grows*Human habitat, a place where humans live, work or play** Space habitat, a space station intended as a permanent settlement...

s for charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

 burning and farming.

Kudus were highly susceptible to the rinderpest virus (now eradicated after a vaccination program in domestic cattle), and many scientist
Scientist
A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word...

s think recurring epidemics of the disease reduced kudu populations in East Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

.

Kudus are highly susceptible to rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

 in times of extended drought. They have been known to enter farm houses and other buildings when infected. Infected animals appear tame and have a distinct frothing at the mouth. They are fearless and bulls may sometimes attack humans who get too close to them.

Meat

Kudu meat is similar to venison, with a slight gamey/liver-like flavor. It is a very dry and lean meat, so when cooked, it needs to be done carefully so as not to dry out the meat and make it difficult to eat. When prepared correctly, it can be very healthy because of its low fat content.

Use in music

A kudu horn is a musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 made from the horn of the kudu antelope
Antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

. A form of it is sometimes used as a shofar
Shofar
A shofar is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.Shofar come in a variety of sizes.- Bible and rabbinic literature :...

 in Jewish ceremonies. It is mostly seen in the Western world in its use as a part of the Scouting
Scouting
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

 movement's Wood Badge
Wood Badge
Wood Badge is a Scouting leadership program and the related award for adult leaders in the programs of Scout associations throughout the world. Wood Badge courses aim to make Scouters better leaders by teaching advanced leadership skills, and by creating a bond and commitment to the Scout movement...

 training program which, when blown, signals the start of a Wood Badge training course or activity.

A horn of this shape, when used by soccer fans, is called kuduzela (compare with vuvuzela
Vuvuzela
The vuvuzela , also known as lepatata Mambu , colloquially known in South Africa as "Moerstripper", is a plastic horn, about long, which produces a loud monotone note, typically around B3 . Some models are made in two parts to facilitate storage, and this design also allows pitch variation...

).

Significance in Scouting

The kudu horn is a significant part of the history of the Scouting movement. It has been noted that Baden-Powell used a Kudu horn during Scout camp ceremony. In August 1907 on Brownsea Island Scout camp
Brownsea Island Scout camp
The Brownsea Island Scout camp was a boys camping event on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, southern England, organised by Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell to test his ideas for the book Scouting for Boys. Boys from different social backgrounds participated from 1 August to 8 August 1907 in...

, the first Scout camp, for example, Baden-Powell awoke the Scouts with the sound of the Kudu horn. William Hillcourt wrote: "The day began at 6 a.m. when Baden-Powell roused the camp with the weird notes from the long, spiral horn of the African koodoo - the war horn he had picked up on his expedition into the Somabula Forest during the 1896 Matabele Campaign (See: Second Matabele War
Second Matabele War
The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion and in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, was fought in 1896–97 between the British troops and the Ndebele people....

)." John Thurman explained that: "After Brownsea Island the kudu horn was returned to B-P's home and was silent for 12 years, while the movement it had announced was fashioned and spread throughout the world. Then, in 1919, Baden-Powell entrusted the horn to Gilwell Park for use in the first scoutmaster training courses."

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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