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Puneet Varma

Salt\'s dik dik

Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Artiodactyla
Genus  Madoqua
Higher classification  Dik-dik
Phylum  Chordata
Family  Bovidae
Scientific name  Madoqua saltiana
Rank  Species
Salt's dik-dik TrekNature Salts Dikdik Photo
Similar  Silver dik‑dik, Günther's dik‑dik, Dik‑dik, Soemmerring's gazelle, Harvey's duiker

Salt s dik dik tiny antelope


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Salt's dik-dik (Madoqua saltiana) is a small antelope found in semidesert, bushland and thickets in the Horn of Africa, but marginally also in northern Kenya and eastern Sudan. It is named after Henry Salt who discovered it in Abyssinia in the early 19th century.

Salt's dik-dik Salts Dikdik in Moscow zoo Salts Dikdik Madoqua salt Flickr

Salt s dik dik


Description

Salt's dik-dik httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Salt's dik-dik are 52–67 cm (20–26 in) long, 33–41 cm (13–16 in) high and weigh 2.5–4.0 kg (5.5–8.8 lb). As in other dik-diks, the small, pointed horns are only present in the male. The colour varies significantly depending on the subspecies.

Taxonomy

Together with the closely related silver dik-dik, this species forms the subgenus Madoqua in the genus Madoqua (other dik-diks are also in the genus Madoqua, but the subsgenus Rhynchotragus). The taxonomy of this subgenus is complex and a matter of dispute. Today, the most widely used treatment is based on a review in 1978, but a significantly different treatment was presented in a review in 1972. Following the review in 1978, the silver dik-dik is treated as a separate monotypic species, and the Salt's dik-dik has five subspecies:

  • M. s. saltiana: Found from northern Ethiopia to Eritrea and far eastern Sudan, it is relatively large with a reddish-grey back.
  • M. s. hararensis: Found in the Hararghe region in eastern Ethiopia, it has a gingery back and dark red flanks.
  • M. s. lawrenci: Found in eastern and southeastern Somalia, it has a silvery back and russet flanks.
  • M. s. phillipsi: Found in northern Somalia, its back is grey and the flanks are orange.
  • M. s. swaynei: Found in the Jubba Valley region of southern Ethiopia, southern Somalia and far northern Kenya, its back is brown-grey.
  • In 2003, each of the above was proposed to represent an evolutionary species, but at present, most maintain them as subspecies. The review in 1972 differed significantly from the above. Under that treatment, three species are recognized in the subgenus Madoqua: Salt's sik-dik (M. saltiana with the subspecies saltiana and cordeauxi), Phillip's dik-dik (M. phillipsi with the subspecies phillipsi, gubanensis, hararensis and lawrencei) and Swayne's dik-dik (M. swaynei with the subspecies swaynei, erlangeri and piancentinii). Of these taxa, cordeauxi, gubanensis and erlangeri were considered entirely invalid in 1978.

    Behavior

    Salt's dik-dik are shy animals. They are active at night and dusk to avoid the midday heat, and are considered crepuscular. Dominant dik-dik flare their crests. The animals are most often found in pairs and small groups, and Salt's dik-dik mainly eat leaves and shoots of acacia trees. Not much is known about the species' reproduction behavior.

    References

    Salt's dik-dik Wikipedia


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