Roan antelope

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Roan antelope
Roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) male.jpg
at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Hippotraginae
Genus: Hippotragus
Species: H. equinus
Binomial name
Hippotragus equinus
Desmarest, 1804
Roan Antelope Hippotragus equinus distribution map.png
Roan antelope range.[2]
male at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa

The roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) is a savanna antelope found in West, Central, East and Southern Africa. It is the namesake of the Chevaline project, whose name was taken from the French Antelope Chevaline.[3]

Roan antelope are one of the largest species of antelope. They measure 190–240 cm (75–94 in) from the head to the base of tail and the tail measures 37–48 cm (15–19 in). The body mass of males is 242–300 kg (534–661 lb) and of females is 223–280 kg (492–617 lb). The shoulder of this species is typically around 130–140 cm (51–55 in).[4][5][6] Named for their roan colour (a reddish brown), they have lighter underbellies, white eyebrows and cheeks and black faces, lighter in females. They have short, erect manes, very light beards and prominent red nostrils. The horns are ringed and can reach a metre long in males, slightly shorter in females. They arch backwards slightly.

They are similar in appearance to sable antelope and can be confused where their ranges overlap. Sable antelope males are darker, being black rather than dark brown.

Roan antelope are found in woodland and grassland savanna, mainly in the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, which range in tree density from forest with a grassy understorey (such as central Zambezian Miombo woodlands) to grasslands dotted with few trees, where they eat midlength grasses. They form harem groups of five to 15 animals with a dominant male. Roan antelope commonly fight among themselves for dominance of their herd, brandishing their horns while both animals are on their knees.


  1. ^ IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). Hippotragus equinus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved November 2008.Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of Least concern.
  2. ^ IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 2008. Hippotragus equinus. In: IUCN 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. Downloaded on 17 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Roan Antelope". World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  4. ^ ANIMAL BYTES – Roan Antelope. Retrieved on 2013-10-10.
  5. ^ Burnie D and Wilson DE (Eds.), Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult (2005), ISBN 0789477645
  6. ^ Roan antelope videos, photos and facts – Hippotragus equinus. ARKive (2011-06-28). Retrieved on 2013-10-10.

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