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Sable antelope

Sable antelope
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Thomas (FunkyMunky) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 146 W: 0 N: 608] (3154)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-29
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon Digital EOS 350D, Sigma 70-300mm
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-03-27 0:01
Viewed: 3668
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Taken in Kruger National Park. They are very scarce and this was a rare sighting.

GENUS SPECIES: Hippotragus (goat-like horse) niger (dark colored)

MALE Male sable antelopes are glossy black except for white markings on their face and belly. They have a tufted tail and a slight mane and long horns that strongly curve backwards.
FEMALE Females are reddish brown with smaller and less heavily ridged horns than males.
MALE Shoulder height about 1.5 m (4.95 ft.)
FEMALE Shoulder height about 1.3 m (4.29 ft.)
MALE Approximately 235 kg (517 lb)
FEMALE Approximately 220 kg (484 lb)
DIET: Grazers - diet includes grasses, herbs, and foliage
GESTATION: Gestation lasts approximately 9 months
SEXUAL MATURITY: About 2.5 years
LIFE SPAN: Up to 18 years
RANGE: Southern Kenya, eastern Tanzania, and Mozambique to Angola and Southern Zaire (Miombo Woodland Zone)
HABITAT: Inhabits savanna woodlands and grasslands during the dry season
STATUS: IUCN Lower Risk/Conservation Dependent
CITES Species not listed; subspecies H. n. variani is listed as Appendix I
USFWS Species not listed; subspecies H .n. variani is listed as Endangered

1. Sable congregate in herds of 15-20 individuals with matriarchal social structure. Within the group, the more dominant female is the leader. There is only one adult male (called a bull) in each herd. The juvenile males are exiled from the herd at about 3 years old.
2. All the female calves remain. When the herd gets too large, it divides into smaller groups of cows and their young. These groups will form new herds, once again with only one adult bull.
3. The young males, which have been separated from the herd, associate in "bachelor groups" of up to 12 individuals. Among the bachelors, the most dominant will be the first individual to join a new group of females when the position is open. Very seldom, during their fights for supremacy, are they able to inflict bodily harm to the contender.
4. If threatened by a predator, including lions, they will confront it, using their scimitar-shaped horns. Many of these big cats have died during such fights.

Mamagolo2, Miss_Piggy, corjan3, PaulLees, KOMSIS, maaciejka has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Thomas,
A magnificent specimen of antelope. Beautiful shiny coat. It is said that the antelopes are very slim silhouette, it's true.

Very impressive looking male, I presume, Peter.
Though the light appears to be somewhat harsh, the image is quite good and shows how elegant this animal is.
Thanks and regards.

Hello Peter,
Now this is something special to be able to photograph. A very rare sighting indeed and another masterpiece from your camera.
Many years ago there used to be quite a few of these antelopes around Masorinikop but for some reason they've moved to the Shingwedzi area. I remember as a child we saw them every time we went into the park for just a day visit.
Very well done and tfs.

Hallo Peter
You where very lucky with this one, as this is not an animal that is easily photographed. I just love the natural sunlight in the image, bringing out the beautiful colour and shine on the Sable's fur. I really envy you for this one. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-03-27 2:39]

Hi Peter,a great pic in a difficult situation.Very impressive sharpness,focus and colors...and a beautiful specie too.Thanks for share,have a nice Sunday,Luciano.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-03-27 3:13]

Hello Peter,
Very nice photo of this Sable Antelope taken from a good POV. I saw a lot of them in Zimbabwe, many years ago. The light was a bit sharp, but the sharpness is very good.

Excellently well done and a very useful note.

Yes indeed Peter, the Sable Antelope is quite scarce, you don't see many in the open terrain,

Good capture of this fine species of antelope, you have captured the true colours of this beauty,
great posture and good sharpness,

I am going to nick-pick here, i would like to see this type of image in a horizontal format?,
Nevertheless Peter great shot,


  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2011-03-27 10:46]

Hi Peter,
Natural environment!
Great composition and sharpness.
Best wishes,

Hi Peter,
excellent photo of this antelope. It really looks like a portrait. Perfect POV, very good sharpness. Amazing natural colours.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2011-03-27 17:17]

Hi Peter , a nice image of this Sable Antelope with good detail. I think you manged well in this harsh light , but I find that the composition feels a bit centered and tight on the head and rear of the animal, none the less congrats on the rare find.
TFS & regards

Peter - a nice capture with perfect framing. Good sharpness and great POV. tfs

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-03-29 8:07]

Hello Peter,
your African animal collection is really fantastic. This one is so special to me in a well composed and well thought presentation. The sharpness , clarity and the shines really give this photo a splendid attraction. The tall grass add a natural effect to the view.
Exciting work.


Hi Peter,
great portrait of this antelope, that is really shy and can hardly be approached. TFS

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