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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-15
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-04-18 8:54
Viewed: 4129
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An impala (Aepyceros melampus Greek αιπος, aipos "high" κερος, ceros "horn" + melas "black" pous "foot") is a medium-sized African antelope. The name impala comes from the Zulu language meaning "gazelle". They are found in savannas and thick bushveld in a lot of African countries. Impalas can be found in numbers of up to 2 million in Africa.

In the past, taxonomists had put impalas in the same tribe as gazelles, kobs and hartebeests. However, it was found that the impala was so different from any of these tribes that it was put in its own tribe, Aepycerotini. This tribe has now been elevated to full subfamily status.
Usually, two subspecies are distinguished, which is supported by mitochondrial DNA analysis:
• Black-faced impala - Aepyceros melampus petersi
• Common impala - Aepyceros melampus melampus

Impalas range between 73 and 92 cm (29 and 36 in) tall. Average mass for a male impala is 46 to 76 kg (100 to 170 lb), while females weigh about 37 to 50 kg (82 to 110 lb). They are normally reddish-brown in color (hence the Afrikaans name of "Rooibok"), have lighter flanks and white underbellies with a characteristic "M" marking on the rear. Males, referred to as rams, have lyre-shaped horns, which can reach up to 90 centimeters in length. Females, referred to as ewes, have no horns. The black impala, found in very few places in Africa, is an extremely rare type. A recessive gene causes the black colouration in these animals.

Impalas are an ecotone species living in light woodland with little undergrowth and grassland of low to medium height. They have an irregular distribution due to dependence on free water, soils with good drainage with firm footing and moderate or less slope. While they are usually close to water in the dry season, they can go weeks without drinking when they have access to green vegetation.

Impalas are adaptable foragers. They usually switch between grazing and browsing depending on the season. During wet seasons when grasses are green and growing they graze. During dry seasons it browses foliage, shoots forbs and seeds. It can also adapt to different habitats by being a grazer in one habitat a browser in another. Leopards, cheetahs, lions and wild dogs prey on impala.

Social structure and reproduction
Females and young form herds of up to two hundred individuals. When food is plentiful, adult males will establish territories. Females pass through the territories that have the best food resources. Territorial males round up any female herds that enter their grounds, and will chase away bachelor males that follow. They will even chase away recently-weaned males. A male impala tries to prevent any female from leaving his territory. During the dry seasons, territories are abandoned, as herds must travel farther to find food. Large, mixed tranquil herds of females and males form. Young male impalas who have been made to leave their previous herd form bachelor herds of around thirty individuals. Males that are able to dominate their herd are contenders for assuming control of a territory.

The breeding season of impalas, also called rutting, begins toward the end of the wet season in May. The entire affair typically lasts approximately three weeks. While young are usually born after 6–7 months, the mother has the ability to delay giving birth for an additional month if conditions are harsh. When giving birth, a female impala will isolate herself from the herd, despite numerous attempts by the male to keep her in his territory. The impala mother will keep the fawn in an isolated spot for a few days or even leave it lying out in hiding for a few days, weeks, or more before returning to the herd. There, the fawn will join a nursery group and will go to its mother only to nurse and when predators are near. Fawns are suckled for four to six months. Males who mature are forced out of the group and will join bachelor herds.
When frightened or startled, the whole herd starts leaping about to confuse their predator. They can jump distances more than 10 meters (33 ft) and 3 meters (9 ft) high. Impalas can reach running speeds of about 80 to 90 km/h (50 to 56 mph), to escape their predators. When escaping from predators, they can release a scent from their glands on their heels, which can help them stay together. This is done by performing a high kick of their hind legs.

Source: wikipedia

maaciejka, lousat, bungbing, yiannis, joska, siggi, jaycee, maurydv, marius-secan, Pitoncle, CeltickRanger, anel, Adanac has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Peter,
what a fight! Excellent point of view. Nice natural colours. Great composition.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-04-18 9:04]

Hi Peter,a lucky situation to meet and a great timing to take that.An excellent work in a not easy scenary whit differents light levels,fantastic sharpness and warm colors as i like.Thanks for share,have a nice week,Luciano

Hi Peter,
What a wonderful capture of these Impala jousting!, great moment, very good sharpness detail, natural colours and very well exposure,
Thanks for sharing,

Peter - an action oriented pic. Nice POV with great sharpness. Colors are really good. tfs

Hello Peter!
What a great action post ! Wow! Who are going to win? I love these beautiful animals so elegant and gentle! So cute!!! Lovely shot, indeed! You can be very proud ! Great lightness and sharpness! A master piece, my friend! TFS
Nice week!

Perfect capture of the moment! Lovely colours as well. regards yiannis

Ciao Peter. Interestin moment you've captured. Excellent light's management so like sharp and details.


  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-04-18 11:11]

Hi Peter,
Splendid photo of this Impalas, beautiful colors and very good sharpness, useful presentation, TFS!

Hello Peter
Beautiful scene with very good composition, wonderful colours and very good sharpness.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-04-18 11:20]

Hello Peter.
Nice action shot of this Impalas. You have captured some great natural behaviour.The POV and the sharpness is excellent. Details, colors and composition look great.Best regards Siggi

Great shot here my man, good action of these two showing affection, (Hmmm not surprised she's gorgeous:-)
Lovely natural colours, and exposure perhaps a little overexposed but nevertheless a good entry,
Congratulations Peter and well done,
Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2011-04-18 16:12]

Hi Peter,

A wonderful shot of these beautiful animals in action. You captured the moment perfectly. Not only are the colors and details of the two main subjects marvelous, but so is the third Impala who is munching away minding his own business. Great capture!


Hi Peter,
Very timely image of the two impalas. They are gorgeous with real sleek bodies and great horns. Well done.

Hallo Peter,
a very beautiful capture of these Impalas in a great action, very good sharpness and marvellous natural colours
Best regards

If you visit Kruger National Park and see no other animal, you are guaranteed to see gazillions of impala! So much so that we usually just drive past missing great shots like this. Next time we see impalas, I will stop and teke a closer look.
very nice nature-in-action shot!

Hello Peter,
Perfect capture. Excellent clarity, focus and composition with this two gorgeous impala fighting. The colors and the details are impressive.
Thaks for sharing this amazing african scene!

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2011-04-19 10:39]

Hi Peter,
Strong to win!
Focus, POV, colors and composition very nice. good informative notes.
Best wishes

Bonjour Peter,
Très belle scène de la vie sauvage restituée sous un excellent angle de prise de vue.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Ciao Peter, great action shoot, interesting capture, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hallo Peter,

een mooie opname van deze Impala's. Misschien een beetje te krap gekaders maar scherpte en detailering is goed.
Prachtige kleuren.


Hello Peter

Excellent close-up photo of these impalas on fight,
fine POV, beautiful warmer light and color tones,
excellent focus sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • egres Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 44 W: 2 N: 144] (754)
  • [2011-04-20 7:51]

Hello Peter
This is a very good photo with interaction between these two males. Rich tawny color in a natural environment. The image is neat and sharp, the light from de left is well managed.
Nicely done
Regards from Québec


hello Peter, beautiful action scene and very fine photo performance in this close up composition!

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-04-21 2:39]

Hello Peter,
such a lovely moment to have these impalas captured. The loving moment is such a good shot. The clarity and sharpness is well shown with natural colours and good use of existing lighting.
Very well presented shot.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-04-21 5:05]

Hello Peter,
No bird this time, but an interesting scene from nature. Amazing how the coloration is hold in the same tints, animals and environment in great harmony. Less harmonious the fight, but some action!
Well seen. Interesting note too.
Thanks and kind regards

Hello Peter,
Great timing and excellent capture. Details, sharpness, colours and POV are perfect. Well done!

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2011-05-10 13:50]

Hello Peter,
Nice action captured with a little sparring going on. The image qualities are superb, thanks for the great work.

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