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Encyclopedia > Cephalophinae

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Cephalophinae


A duiker is any of about 19 small to medium-sized antelope species native to sub-Saharan Africa.

Duikers are shy and elusive creatures with a fondness for dense cover; most are forest dwellers and even the species living in more open areas are quick to disappear into thickets. Their name comes from the Afrikaans word for diver and refers to their practice of diving into tangles of shrubbery.

With a slightly arched body and the front legs a little shorter than the hind legs, they are well-shaped to penetrate thickets. They are primarily browsers rather than grazers, eating leaves, shoots, seeds, fruit, buds and bark, and often follow flocks of birds or troops of monkeys to take advantage of the fruit they drop. They supplement their diet with meat: duikers take insects and carrion from time to time, and even stalk and capture rodents or small birds. The Blue Duiker has a fondness for ants.

    • Subfamily Bovinae: wild cattle and spiral-horned antelopes, 24 species in 9 genera
    • Subfamily Cephalophinae
      • Maxwell's Duiker, Cephalophus maxwellii
      • Blue Duiker, Cephalophus monticola
      • Black-fronted Duiker, Cephalophus nigrifrons
      • Red-flanked Duiker, Cephalophus rufilatus
      • Jentink's Duiker, Cephalophus jentinki
      • Yellow-backed Duiker, Cephalophus Sylvicultor
      • Abbott's Duiker, Cephalophus spadix
      • Zebra Duiker, Cephalophus zebra
      • Black Duiker, Cephalophus niger
      • Ader's Duiker, Cephalophus adersi
      • Red Forest Duiker, Cephalophus natalensis
      • Peter's Duiker, Cephalophus callipygus
      • Weyn's Duiker, Cephalophus weynsi
      • Bay Duiker, Cephalophus dorsalis
      • White-bellied Duiker, Cephalophus leucogaster
      • Ogilby's Duiker, Cephalophus ogilbyi
      • Common Duiker, Silvicapra grimmia
    • Subfamily Hippotraginae: grazing antelopes. 23 species in 11 genera
    • Subfamily Antilopinae: gazelles, dwarf antelopes and the saiga, 38 species in 14 genera
    • Subfamily Caprinae: sheep, goats, Musk Ox and allies
    • Subfamily Panthalopinae: Chiru

  Results from FactBites:
ANTELOPE, (535 words)
The term antelope does not designate a sharply defined group; members of the group are included in all the five subfamilies of Bovidae: the Bovinae, the Cephalophinae, the Hippotraginae, the Antilopinae, and the Caprinae.
Antelope of the subfamily Bovinae are the oxlike giant eland; the kudu; the broad-horned, elusive bongo; the East African dik-dik, the smallest in this subfamily; the shy four-horned antelope; the marshbuck, or sitatunga; the nyala; and the nilgai, or blue bull, which is revered in India for its color.
When frightened, they dive through the bushes and then stand on their hindlegs to look around.
Comparative Placentation (1127 words)
The cytochrome b study of Matthee and Robinson (1999) made the klipspringer a sister taxon of the Cephalophinae which is supported by those species all having similar numbers and structures of their chromosomes (see chapter on Yellow-backed duiker).
Similar to the Cephalophinae, this placenta has a simple cuboidal trophoblastic cover of villi with a small number of binucleate cells.
Haarmann, K.: Morphological and histological study of neocortex of bovides (Antilopinae, Cephalophinae) and Tragulidae with comments on evolutionary development.
  More results at FactBites »



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