I Am Not An Antelope

Pronghorn male in Oregon (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

29 February 2024

Though we call this animal a pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana), it is not an antelope at all.

While I was on Road Scholar’s Southern Africa Birding Safari last month I saw seven species of antelopes (not my photos; these are from Wikimedia Commons).

Because the pronghorn’s appearance is similar, I can see why he’s called an antelope, but his nearest relatives are other African animals, the giraffe and okapi.

Giraffe in South Africa (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
An okapi (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
An okapi (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Pronghorns probably resemble antelopes because they run like them, a trait they acquired to escape cheetahs(!). Cheetahs used to be in North America but disappeared a long time ago.

video embedded from American Prairie on YouTube

The pronghorn never stopped running.

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