The New Student's Reference Work/Antelope
|←Ant-Eater||The New Student's Reference Work (1914)
|See also Antelope on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
Antelope, an animal like the deer, belonging to a group between cattle and goats. Its horns are ringed and hollow and are not renewed annually. The size varies greatly, the pygmy antelopes of South Africa being only from eight to nine inches in height, while the largest kinds are from five to six feet. Antelopes are found in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. They are the fleetest as well as the most beautiful and graceful of quadrupeds. Two kinds are peculiar to North America—the Rocky Mountain goat, which is a true antelope, and the prong-horn. The latter stands apart from the true antelopes, from the circumstance that annually it sheds the outer sheath of its horns. There is an interior bony; core that remains permanent. These animals are distributed from the Missouri River to the Pacific and from 53° N. latitude southward into Mexico. At one time there were immense herds in the San Joaquin Valley in California. They are now abundant in northwestern Mexico. The common antelope is found in India and Eastern Asia. It is about two and a half feet high at the shoulders, with erect diverging horns bent in a spiral form. It is so swift that grayhounds cannot catch it, and it leaps easily a height of ten or twelve feet, while the length of its bound is often ten or twelve yards. The Chinese antelope is found in the deserts of Central Asia. Its flesh is very much prized. The gazelle of North Africa was known to the ancients, its beautiful black eyes being often spoken of by Arabian poets. In the Alps we find the chamois and in South Africa the eland, the largest of all the antelopes.