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Speke's Gazelle.jpg

A small, delicate-looking gazelle with a remarkable, inflatable nasal sac, Speke’s gazelle (Gazella spekei) is now, sadly, threatened with extinction. The upperparts of this diminutive species are coloured brownish-fawn and separated from the white underparts by a dark stripe running along the flanks. The head is also brownish-fawn, with facial patterning consisting of bold dark and white markings. The horns of this species are broadly ringed (more prominently in the males), curving back from the head in a loose S-shape. As with other species of gazelle, the horns of Speke’s gazelle are longer in the male than the female, with the male’s horns averaging at 29 centimetres.

It is the unusual, nasal sack which really makes this species stand out. Normally, this sac takes the form of loose folds of skin behind the nostrils, but when alarmed or excited it can be inflated. The inflated sac forms a hollow chamber amplifying the loud sneeze-snorts that this animal makes as an alarm call and, perhaps, as a means of announcing status.

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