Wild Fact #622 – King of the Dung Pile – Topi

Photo by Caelio (Wikimedia)

It is already Thursday as we quickly move through our Wild Facts for the week.  As you know, today’s animal will be starting with the letter “T” (again).  I had the suggestion of writing about the Tasmanian Tiger, which would have been a great animal to talk about today, unfortunately that fact has already been done.  Instead we are heading to Africa to talk about the Topi.  So put on your safari hat, grab your canteen and get ready for Topi Thursday.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, the Topi is a type of antelope.  Looking at them you can tell they have elongated heads, a bump at the base of their neck (no it is not a camel), and they even have a face mask.  It might be difficult to see in these pictures but they have a dark colouration along their face.  Obviously, this mask is an adaptation for the Topi’s desire to rob banks.

I personally find the social structure of the Topi to be very interesting.  You see these animals like to form leks.  Nope, that isn’t a typo.  A lek is basically a cluster of territories.  One of the things I find intriguing is how the most dominant males will occupy the center of the lek while the lesser males are isolated to the periphery of the territory.  And you thought getting picked last for the baseball team was embarrassing, try getting banished to the outside of your territory. Obviously, the females will gather together and fight for the attention of the centrally located male Topi.

Photo by The Lilac Breasted Roller (Wikimedia)

So do you want to hear something really interesting?  Of course you do.  The males will mark their territories with piles of dung.  Then they will stand on these mounds and defend their territory from any possible intruders.  Who would have thought that a pile of dung would make a great watch tower.

Topi Fast Fact – Here is further evidence that males and females are never on the same page.  The females prefer to mate with a dominant male that they have mated with in the past; however, the males prefer to mate with a female that hasn’t yet mated, if given the option.  I can just imagine that my lady readers are rolling their eyes at the “typical males”.

So there you have it, folks.  Topi Thursday is done and we only have one more Wild Fact left this week.  Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you tomorrow.

Add Comment