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Antelopes are ruminant hoofed mammals of the family Bovidae in the order of even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla). Antelopes are spread relatively evenly throughout the various subfamilies of Bovidae and many are more closely related to cows or goats than to each other. In the Sahara, there are two species of antelope: the addax and the scimitar-horned oryx.

Slender-horned Gazelle

The slender-horned gazelle is the palest gazelle of the Sahara. It is recognized by its compact build (20-30kg), and pale creamy tone to the sandy brown body colour, separated from the white underside by a darker flank band. When running the gait is direct and headlong, with the blackish tail held aloft above a white rump. The face pattern is typical of all smaller gazelles, with the large dark eyes emphasized by black linings to the eyelids. Small dark tufts are present on the carpal glands of the front legs.

Red-fronted Gazelle

A medium-sized gazelle (20-35 kg) with reddish upperparts separated from white or cream-colored underparts by a distinct black side-stripe between front and rear legs. The gazelle takes its name from its reddish forehead that contrasts with paler eye markings. White hindquarters with contrasting dark tail. General appearance is of a robust, straight-legged and alert gazelle. Horns present in both sexes, reaching 15-25 cm in females and 22-35 cm in males. Horns of the female generally poorly developed while those of the adult male are heavy, slightly curved and with strong annulation.

Cuvier’s Gazelle

A medium-sized gazelle (35 kg), reddish-brown in colour, with a white belly and contrasting dark flank stripe and black tail. Horns in the male are rather straight and stout and heavily annulated. Females’ horns more slender.

Dama Gazelle

The largest gazelle (40-60 kg) with two-tone white and rusty red pelage. Extent of red colouration quite variable but broadly linked to morphological differences between the three recognized races: neck in the eastern race N. d. ruficollis, neck, shoulders and upper back in the central race N. d. dama and neck, shoulders, back and flanks in the north-western race N. d. mhorr also known in English as the mhorr gazelle.

Dorcas Gazelle

A relatively small gazelle (kg), generally recognized by the warm light brown tones of their upper parts. A broad dark brown flank stripe contrasts with a pale sandy band above and pure white belly below. In bright Saharan sunlight, especially when contrasted against a backdrop of dark volcanic rocks typical of some massifs, dorcas gazelles can appear very pale, not dissimilar in overall tone to slender-horned gazelle. As in other gazelles the nearly black tail is constantly being rapidly twitched from side to side against the pure white rump.


Relatively short-legged, stocky antelope (95-105 kg) with long corkscrew horns. Strong facial markings and distinctive mop of dark brown hair. Coat colour changes from bright white in summer, hot season months to darker grey in winter.

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