The beautiful Thomson gazelle
The Thomson gazelle is one of the best known gazelles and lives in the grassy plains and savannas of Africa. But what do they eat? How do they live? Are they under threat? Do they live in herds? How do they look like? How big and heavy do they get?
The Thomson gazelle is a beautiful gazelle. The animal lives in the grassy plains and savannas of Africa. In the drought period they migrate in large herds to the bush savannas. Here they live on the leaves of shrubs and sometimes herbs.
What are they eating?
They mainly eat grass, but if not enough of this is available, they also eat herbs, seeds and leaves from shrubs. So this means that it is a herbivore. They require little food. This allows them to live on the deserted plains where larger herbivores used to live. However, grass still needs to grow.
What does the animal look like?
The animal falls under the medium-sized gazelles and grows up to 90 to 120 centimeters long and weighs 15 to 30 pounds. The male grows larger than the female. The male has long horns that bend slightly backwards. The fur on the back is a mixture of brown / yellow. This changes per animal. On the side they have a wide black stripe. The underside is white and the tail is completely black.
They live in herds
The gazelle is a herd animal, they live in large groups. This herd does not stay the same for long. The herd regularly falls apart and then lives on separately. When two herds meet, they sometimes form one big new herd. Males mark their territory with urine, feces and by rubbing the eye gland along bushes. In addition, they try to keep elongated groups of females in their territory. The herd may consist of more than a thousand animals. The herds often grow largest in the dry season. This is because they then migrate to the shrub savanna and the herds merge.
The Thomson gazelle has a gestation period of 6 months and can give birth twice in one year. The birth peak is just after the rainy season when the grass is high and green. After birth, the female hides the young in the long grass here they stay for a few weeks. Due to the good protective color they are very difficult to see and the young can lie still for a long time. The female looks for the young a number of times a day because she just keeps grazing herself.
Despite the good camouflage of the animals, they often fall prey to predators such as lions, panthers, leopards, and hyenas. But because they reproduce quickly, the species is not endangered. The animals are also very fast and can reach a speed of 80 kilometers per hour. They mainly communicate with their posture. They try to scare enemies by jumping. In this way they also show their stamina.