Gnu is the most famous type of antelope. In nature, there are 2 species of these hoofed animals – blue, or striped gnu and white-tailed gnu. They differ only in the details of coloring.
The appearance of these animals is very unusual, not without reason they are isolated in a special subfamily of cow antelopes. At the first glance at the Antelope gnu, it gives the impression of a bull: large size (height in the crest can reach 140 cm, and the average weight of Antelopes gnu is 200-250 kg), a massive head with a heavy face and short, steeply bent horns suggest that we are looking at cattle. But thin, high legs and light, rapid canter indicate that we are looking at the antelope. In appearance, the antelope has many other absurdities: on the underside of his face and neck he has a thick suspension of hair like a mountain goat, on the crest of the neck there is a rare mane like a horse, the tail is thin with a bundle of long hair at the end like a donkey, and the voice is like a jerky and disgusting mooing cow. It seems as if this antelope was collected from the details of different animals. The color of the blue bug is dark gray with indistinguishable transverse stripes on the torso. This species has a subspecies of white beard bug, which has white hair on the neck. The white-tailed gnu is almost black with a white and thick tail, outwardly this species is very similar to the horned horse.
Both species inhabit the grassy plains of Africa, only the blue bug is found everywhere, remaining the most numerous ungulates in Africa, and the number of white-tailed Gnu is low and it is preserved only in a few national parks. The gnu is characterized by rare territoriality for herbivorous animals: each herd has an area, which the leader marks and protects from neighbors. These animals specialize in grass nutrition and are very dependent on rainy seasons and drought. Therefore, they are forced to migrate twice a year: first to the north, and then back to the south following the rains. During migration, the bending is brought down into colossal herds of several tens of thousands of individuals. Usually in the herd animals do not move heap, but in separate scattered groups, so the herd stretches for tens of kilometers on the plain. A special problem for migratory animals is rivers. No, the rivers in Africa are not wide and not deep, but crocodiles are waiting for migrating antelopes. And they know it. Approaching the river, antelopes accumulate on its banks without daring to continue moving. Tense silence, like a calm before the fight, makes the animals nervous.
But, unfortunately, this is just an optimistic scenario. Sometimes, it happens that the daredevil is not there, and then the animals arriving from behind just push the front from the shore. In this case, there is a crush and gnus just trample on the weaker brothers. After crossing the river on its banks there are hundreds of mutilated bodies, undone by crocodiles. Vultures, jackals, hyenas, and marabou quickly dispose of this scoundrel.
The nature of these animals under their appearance is paradoxical. Most of the time, the gnu behaves like a typical cow, melancholy grazing, or chewing gum, but sometimes they find a sudden panic attack, and the herd breaks into a gallop. And sometimes they do it for no apparent reason. On the one hand, bending, like all hoofed animals, is defenseless before the attack of predators, on the other hand, they can show unexpected courage. Rapid bent can attack the surrounding animals on their whims. It is not without reason that in the zoos the employees are obliged to apply more precautions to these animals than even to the buffalos.
Next year, the females bring one brown-colored calf. It comes into the world quite developed and in 20 minutes it rises to its feet, and in 30-40 it can run! But despite this jump, many calves die in the teeth of predators.
Gnus has many enemies: together with zebras, they form the basis of the diet of lions, hyenas. Young biting can be attacked by leopards and cheetahs. Many of them die at crossings and in the teeth of crocodiles. During an attack of predators, the gnus are not knocked down in a pile and scatter in all directions. This allows you to disorient the predators and buy time. At close contact, they are protected by kicking and waking, there are cases where the temperamental bent managed to repel the attack of lions. In the past, these antelopes were used for mass hunting, and as a result, the number of white-tailed gnus has not yet recovered.