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Duikers

Adaptation, Social Life

Duikers are small African antelopes in the large family of Bovidae. This family of hoofed animals includes antelope, gazelles, cattle, sheep, and goats. Like all bovids, duikers have even-toed hooves, horns, and a four-chambered stomach structure that allows them to digest a diet of plants. Duikers are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. These small antelopes range in size from 22 in (55 cm) to as much as 57 in (1.45 m) in length, and weigh from as little as 3 lb (1.35 kg) to as much as 176 lb (80 kg).

There are 17 species of forest-dwelling duikers (Cephalophus). These are the blue, yellow-backed, bay, Maxwell's, Jentink's, black-fronted, red-flanked, Abbot's, banded or zebra, black, red, Ader's duiker, Peter's, Harvey's or Zanzibar duiker, bay or black-striped, Gabon or white-bellied, and Ogilby's duiker. There is only one species of savanna duiker, the grey (or Grimm's) duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), which is found in thin forest and savanna woodlands. Duikers are heavily hunted for their meat, and many of the forest species are threatened or endangered.


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