Tami Nadu - Wildlife of Tamil Nadu - Four Horned Antelope at Tamil Nadu

Four Horned Antelope at Tamil Nadu

The Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) also known as the Chousingha is an antelope found in open forest in South Asia. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Tetracerus. Its primary distribution is in India extending South of the Gangetic plains down to the state of Tamilnadu. Orissa constitutes the Eastern boundary of its distribution whereas the fragmented population at Gir is its westernmost distribution. A small population is also found in the drier forests of Nepal.

Four-horned Antelope stand just over half a metre tall at the shoulder and weigh around 20 kilograms. Four-horned Antelope have a yellow-brown coat with the underside and insides of the legs being white. Its legs are thin and have a black stripe running down the forelegs.

Male Four-horned Antelope grow horns. Usually the animal has four; two between the ears and the second pair right on the front of the forehead. The male grows the first pair of horns at a young age of a few months and the second pair of horns indicates age and nutrition inputs to the animal and generally grow at an age of 14 to 15 months. The horns are never shed, but may get damaged during fights.

Tetracerus_quadricornis

Four-horned Antelope live in dry deciduous forests and are solitary creatures. Four-horned Antelope are sedentary and may form territories, males tend to become very aggressive towards other males during mating season. Although many people say that these are mute animals, they can be heard while communicating either as an alarm call or to communicate with conspecifics. The call sounds like a husky 'phronk'.

Scientific classification

Kingdom:

Animalia

Phylum:

Chordata

Class:

Mammalia

Order:

Artiodactyla

Family:

Bovidae

Subfamily:

Bovinae

Genus:

Tetracerus
Leach, 1825

Species:

T. quadricornis

 

 

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