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Hartebeest portrait

Hartebeest portrait
Photo Information
Copyright: Liezel Dsouza (ldsouza) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 101 W: 25 N: 218] (1369)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-01-05
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 5D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Animal Portraits II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-10 17:43
Viewed: 6174
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Swahili Name: Kongoni
Size: 48 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 165 to 350 lbs
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Habitat: Open plains
Diet: Herbivorous/grazer
Gestation: 8 months
Predators: Cheetahs, jackals, lions, hyenas, leopards,hunting dogs, humans

The hartebeest is a large, fawn-colored antelope that is hump-shouldered, with a steeply sloping back, slim legs and a long, narrow face. It is one of the fastest antelopes and most enduring runners. These qualities gave rise to the name "hartebeest," which means "tough ox."

The hartebeest is one of the most sedentary antelopes (making it easy to hunt), but it does move around more when larger groupings form during the dry seasons or in periods of drought, to seek water and better grazing. Most mature males become solitary and spread out in adjoining territories. Hartebeests go to water regularly.
Females are free to seek the best grazing in their home range, but males cannot leave their territories for long if they intend to keep them. Successful breeding only takes place within the territories-open, short-grass areas of ridges or rises on plateaus are the most favored spots. Males strenuously defend their territories; they often stand on open, elevated areas to keep a lookout for intruders. A ritualized series of head movements and body stances, followed by depositing droppings on long-established dung piles that mark the territory's borders, normally precede any actual clashing of horns and fighting.

The social organization of the hartebeest is somewhat different than that of other antelopes. Adult females do not form permanent associations with other adults; instead, they are often accompanied by up to four generations of their young. Female offspring remain close to their mothers up to the time they give birth to calves of their own. Even male offspring may remain with their mothers for as long as 3 years, considered an unusually long bonding period. As groups of females move in and out of male territories, the males sometimes try to chase away the older offspring. Their mothers become defensive and protect them from the males. Although bachelor herds of young males are also formed, they are less structured than those of some antelopes, and age classes are not as conspicuous.
Young are born throughout the year, but conception and breeding peaks may be influenced by the availability of food. Instead of calving in groups on open plains, the hartebeest female isolates herself in scrub areas to give birth and leaves the young calf hidden for a fortnight, only visiting it briefly to suckle.
The ancient Egyptians are said to have semidomesticated the hartebeest for use as a sacrificial animal. Because the species competes with cattle for food, further attempts at domestication are unlikely.
A prolific breeder and a dominant species in some areas, the hartebeest has probably suffered the greatest reduction in range of all African ruminants

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-03-10 21:25]

Talk about face-to-face, Liezel.
Great capture of this hartebeest. Excellent POV revealing the perfect symmetry. Beautiful colors and light.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-03-11 1:11]
  • [2]

Hi Liezel
Great capture with this 'in-your-face' shot of the (IMO) Jimela Topi or Tsessebe. The hartebeest do not have the distinctive dark facial blaze and their horns are somewhat different in shape.
Your composition is just great and the cropping done perfectly for this kind of shot. Very good DOF showing sharp details in the facial/frontal areas of the animal.
Colours are very true to form and natural and the exposure was spot-on.
Good work and TFS.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-03-11 15:00]

Hello Liezel ,You ar a great portret from this hartebeest ,
very sharp good colours pov dof and framing ,nice weekend Teunie .

Hi Liezel,
very good capture, this is a nice portait.
Well composed, good POV and nice colours.
The details are good and the shallow DOF makes the animal standout nicely from the BG.
Only nit is the slightly OE parts on the end of the antlers.
Very well done.

Lovely portrait Liezel!!! well done great DOF.

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