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Animal of the Week: This is the dik-dik, Madoqua kirkii, a really small species of antelope from southeast Africa.
I mean really small. They stand about 30cm (one foot) tall when fully-grown, and can weigh as little as 3kg (7lbs). The one above is female; the males are smaller and have little backwards-pointing horns.
Dik-diks have some pretty interesting habits. For example, they scent-mark their territory—not with urine like other animals, but by inserting grass and twigs into their pre-orbital glands (they’re the little black spots you can see under the eyes).
That’s not all. Their snouts contain muscles that act a bit like a set of bellows, cooling their blood before pumping it around the rest of the body, in a rather advanced form of panting. But they only need to do this when it’s really hot—they can manage just fine in ambient temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F).
Plus, they never drink. They get all the water they need from their food, so they have no need to drink.
Cool, huh? Who knew itty-bitty antelope could be so interesting?

Animal of the Week: This is the dik-dik, Madoqua kirkii, a really small species of antelope from southeast Africa.

I mean really small. They stand about 30cm (one foot) tall when fully-grown, and can weigh as little as 3kg (7lbs). The one above is female; the males are smaller and have little backwards-pointing horns.

Dik-diks have some pretty interesting habits. For example, they scent-mark their territory—not with urine like other animals, but by inserting grass and twigs into their pre-orbital glands (they’re the little black spots you can see under the eyes).

That’s not all. Their snouts contain muscles that act a bit like a set of bellows, cooling their blood before pumping it around the rest of the body, in a rather advanced form of panting. But they only need to do this when it’s really hot—they can manage just fine in ambient temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F).

Plus, they never drink. They get all the water they need from their food, so they have no need to drink.

Cool, huh? Who knew itty-bitty antelope could be so interesting?

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