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26/03/2009

Springbok, Namibia


The Springbok (Afrikaans and Dutch: spring = jump; bok = antelope or goat) (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a medium sized brown and white gazelle that stands about 75 cm high. Springbuck males weigh between 33-48 kg and the females between to 30-44 kg. They can reach running speeds of up to 80 km/h. The latin name marsupialis derives from a pocket-like skin flap which extends along the middle of the back from the tail onwards. When the male springbok is showing off his strength to attract a mate, or to ward off predators, he starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a conspicuous fan shape, which in turn emits a strong floral scent of sweat. This ritual is known as pronking from the Afrikaans, meaning to boast or show off.
Springbok inhabit the dry inland areas of south and southwestern Africa. Their range extends from the northwestern part of South Africa through the Kalahari desert into Namibia and Botswana. They used to be very common, forming some of the largest herds of mammals ever documented, but their numbers have diminished significantly since the 19th century due to hunting and fences from farms blocking their migratory routes.

5 comments:

earthtoholly said...

What a beautiful creature. And your photo really does him justice! Very nice!

Frank said...

Etosha ?

Loïc BROHARD said...

Yes Etosha. You can "approach" them more easily in Etosha, as they are slightly more used to see cars and jeeps... Still you need a good zoom to take such a shot !

roentarre said...

I wonder what focal length you use to capture this.

I really love the clarity and the bokeh rendered in this shot

Loïc BROHARD said...

Focal Length: 200 mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320)
ISO Speed: 160