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Royal Antelope.jpg

The royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus) is tiny - it is one of the smallest living ungulates, being about the size of a rabbit. The legs are long and slender; the hind legs are much longer than the front legs, which give the body a crouched appearance. The soft coat is a reddish-brown in color. The underparts, including the chin and inside of the legs, are white, but there is a brown band which crosses the chest and breaks up the white underside. A white tuft is at the end of the thin tail. Male royal antelope grow a very small pair of black-colored horns: these are smooth and cone-like, growing to a maximum on 3.5 cm in length. The royal antelope is a very shy species that is difficult to study. This species is most active around dawn and dusk, and may also be active at night. They inhabit very small territories (about 100 square meters) which are marked with piles of dung. When a threat approaches, royal antelope will first crouch and slink into cover in the hope of going undetected. They will take flight only when the threat is very close, zipping through the undergrowth or using strong leaps to clear obstacles.

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