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Gazelle (Family: Bovidae, Subfamily: Antilopinae, Genus: Gazella) male
Subject: Gazelle (Family: Bovidae, Subfamily: Antilopinae, Genus: Gazella) male
Thomson\'s Gazelle (Gazella thomsoni).jpg
Resolution: 187x156 File Size: 14285 Bytes Upload Date: 2007:11:29 12:34:56

Gazelle (Family: Bovidae, Subfamily: Antilopinae, Genus: Gazella) male

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Antilopinae

[Photo] Thomson's Gazelle (Gazella thomsoni); PD image of gazelle from Author: Gary Bradshaw

A gazelle is an antelope of the genus Gazella, although the three members of the genus Procapra also widely are referred to as gazelles. Gazelles are known as swift animals; they are able to reach high speeds (as high as 50 mph) for long periods of time. Gazelles are mostly found in the grasslands and savannas of Africa, but they are also found in southwest Asia. They tend to live in herds and will eat less coarse, easily digestible plants and leaves.

The gazelle species are classified as part of the order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae and genus Gazella. Members of the Articodacycla order are principally distinguished by the foot; they have an even number of toes (the bovid family comprises 6 genera and 12 species). The taxonomy of the genus Gazella is a confused one, and the classification of species and subspecies has been an unsettled issue. Three species???the Red Gazelle, the Arabian Gazelle, and the Queen of Sheba's Gazelle???are extinct. All other gazelle species are listed as endangered, to varying degrees.

A recognizable example of the gazelle is Thomson's Gazelle (Gazella thomsonii), which is around 60 to 90 cm (23 to 35 inches) in height at the shoulder and is coloured brown and white with a distinguishing black stripe (as in the picture on the right). The males have long, often curved, horns. Tommies, as they are familiarly called, exhibit a distinctive behaviour of stotting (running slowly and jumping high before fleeing) when they are threatened by predators such as lions or cheetahs. This is a primary piece of evidence for the handicap principle advanced by Amotz Zahavi in the study of animal communication and behaviour.

Subgenus Gazella
Mountain Gazelle, Gazella gazella
Speke's Gazelle, Gazella spekei
Dorcas Gazelle, Gazella dorcas
Saudi Gazelle, Gazella saudiya
Chinkara, also known as Indian Gazelle, Gazella bennettii
Subgenus Eudorcas
Thomson's Gazelle, Gazella thomsonii
Red-fronted Gazelle, Gazella rufifrons
Subgenus Nanger
Dama Gazelle, Gazella dama
Grant's Gazelle, Gazella granti
Soemmerring's Gazelle, Gazella soemmerringii
Subgenus Trachelocele
Cuvier's Gazelle, Gazella cuvieri
Rhim Gazelle, Gazella leptoceros
Goitered Gazelle, Gazella subgutturosa

Fossils of genus Gazella are found in Pliocene and Pleistocene deposits of Eurasia and Africa. The tiny Gazella borbonica is one of the earliest European gazelles, characterized by its small size and short legs. Gazelles disappeared from Europe at the start of Ice Age, but they survived in Africa and Middle East. Three species become extinct in recent times due to human causes

Recent extinctions
Subgenus Gazella
Arabian Gazelle, Gazella arabica
Queen of Sheba's Gazelle, Gazella bilkis
Subgenus Eudorcas
Red Gazelle, Gazella rufina

Prehistoric extinctions

Gazella borbonica - European Gazelle
Gazella thomasi' - Thomas's Gazelle
Gazella praethomsoni
Gazella negevensis
Gazella triquetrucornis
Gazella negevensis
Gazella capricornis
Gazella mytilinii
Subgenus Vetagazella
Gazella sinensis
Gazella deperdita
Gazella pilgrimi- Steppe Gazelle
Gazella leile - Leile's Gazelle
Gazella praegaudryi - Japanese Gazelle
Gazella gaudryi
Gazella paotehensis
Gazella dorcadoides
Gazella altidens
Gazella mongolica - Mongolian Gazelle
Gazella lydekkeri - Ice Age Gazelle
Gazella blacki
Gazella parasinensis
Gazella kueitensis
Gazella paragutturosa
Subgenus Gazella
Gazella janenschi
Subgenus Trachelocele
Gazella atlantica
Gazella tingitana
Subgenus Nanger
Gazella vanhoepeni
Subgenus Deprezia
Gazella psolea

Thomson's Gazelle (Gazella thomsoni) is one of the best-known gazelles. It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson, and is often referred to as the "tommy". It is considered by some to be a subspecies of the Red-fronted Gazelle (Gazella rufifrons).

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