Wild Fact #400 – On the Lookout – Dik Dik

Dik Dik

Photo by Pedro Gonnet (Wikimedia)

I hope Santa was good to all of you and you had a great Christmas. While ¬†you are coming down from your sugar high, I thought we would take a quick boxing day trip to eastern and southern Africa. It is probably safe to assume that there won’t be any snow there but that won’t stop us from learning about the incredibly cute Dik Dik. Even though the Dik Dik is a dwarf antelope, I think we can make a good case for them to be included with Santa’s reindeer next year. Sure, they may not be the strongest, and perhaps they can’t fly but how could you possibly say no to this cute little animal? While we ponder their inclusion into Santa’s Reindeer herd, grab another glass of egg nog, sit back and enjoy the Dik Dik facts.

A Tasty Snack

As mentioned the Dik Dik is a dwarf antelope and as such, I feel compelled to tell you just how small they really are. This tiny antelope typically stands at a height between 30 and 40 cm (12 to 16 inches) and weighs between 3 to 6 kg (7 to 16 pounds). There is a pretty good chance that you pet dog is actually larger than the Dik Dik. As you can imagine, life can be difficult for a small antelope in Africa. They have to constantly be on the lookout for the following predators:

  • Monitor Lizards
  • Caracals
  • Lions
  • Hyenas
  • Wild Dogs
  • Leopards
  • Cheetahs
  • Jackals
  • Baboons
  • Eagles
  • Hawks
  • Pythons
  • Humans

If that many things wanted to eat me….I am pretty sure I would never leave the house.

Dik Dik

Photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson (Wikimedia)

Escape the Predator

In order to live past lunch time, the Dik Dik has amazing eyesight allowing them to see the predators coming from a long distance. Once they spot the threat, this tiny antelope is able to hurriedly get out of harms way. In fact, they are capable of running up to 42 km/hr (26 mph), which is probably quick enough to escape most predators. Since they rely on their eyesight to survive, the Dik Dik can typically be found in grasslands, however, as the grass grows too tall, this antelope will move out to find a new home that doesn’t obstruct their vision. Hopefully Santa brought the Dik Dik a nice lawnmower for Christmas!

That does it for the Boxing Day Wild Fact. Feel free to head out and go shopping now…..if you are brave enough! See you tomorrow for another animal fact.

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