Posts Tagged ‘kudu’

The mystery antelope

This animal is a hybrid between a common eland (Taurotragus oryx) and a greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros).

This is where the image came from.

Eland have been part of some domestication attempts in parts of Africa and in the former Soviet Union. Eland milk has double the protein of cows’ milk, and it was thought that using such milk might be a way of ensuring that children in these populations received enough protein.

Unfortunately, the domestic eland haven’t been very good milk producers, just as the Soviet dairy experiment found out with its chosen species.

Eland are so named because the Dutch settlers to southern Africa compared them with the moose of Europe, which is known as the “elk.” Eland is Dutch for elk. In Dutch and Afrikaans, the eland is referred to as what translated into “Eland antelope” to avoid confusion with the giant deer.

There are persistent rumors that eland can hybridize with domestic cattle, but these hybrids have never been confirmed.

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I don’t know how these guys do it, but my guess is the San have skills that we’ve just turned over to driving cars and running computers.

Or maybe we’ve lost this knowledge entirely.

The persistence hunt is supposedly the oldest form of hunting. This is how our ancestors got most of their food. Granted, mine probably weren’t chasing Kudu in Northern Europe, but they were hunting red deer, caribou/reindeer, aurochsen, wisent, horses, and marine mammals.

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