Kirks dik-dik

Madoqua kirkii

Kirk's dik-dik is a small antelope found in eastern and southwestern Africa. It grows to 70 cm in length and weighs up to 7 kg when fully grown, standing to a shoulder height of about 35–45 cm . It has a reddish-brown head and a tail that is 3.5–5.5 cm long.

It has a soft, grizzled gray to brown coat and eats a wide range of plants. It has hooves with rubbery undersides, which are effective when travelling over rocky terrain. Newborns are hidden for two to three weeks, and suckle for three to four months.

Genetic and behavioural evidence suggests Kirk's dik-dik exhibits monogamous behaviour. Genetic analysis of offspring indicates little nonpair parentage. Year-round, Kirk's dik-diks stay close within pairs, follow each other's activity patterns and spend more than half of their time with their partners, although males give no parental care to offspring. The males guard their mates closely during oestrus and over-mark all female scent. This behaviour reduces the likelihood of mating attempts by other males. However, these attempts do occur on occasion. Genetic monogamy in dik-diks is probably best explained by the behaviour of females: in contrast to many monogamous female birds, female dik-diks do not appear to seek to mate outside the pair-bond. However, dik-diks may be considered to be facultatively monogamous , evidenced by the lack of parental care shown by the male partner.
Kirk's dik-dik closeup in Tarangire, Tanzania As the sun was setting on Tarangire NP, we were heading back to the lodge and already pretty close to it. Then we encountered this dik-dik very close to us, in a rare moment of serenity. It is quite uncommon to see them this relaxed. They are a wanted prey and always on high alert using their sensitive sense of smell and hearing. A lovely end of the day. Africa,Kirks dik-dik,Madoqua kirkii,Tanzania,Tarangire,Tarangire National Park

Naming

Usually, four subspecies of Kirk's dik-dik are distinguished, but in fact they may represent three or more distinct species:
⤷  ''M. k. kirkii'' Günther, 1880
⤷  ''M. k. cavendishi'' Thomas, 1898 – Cavendish's dik-dik
⤷  ''M. k. damarensis'' Günther, 1880 – Damara dik-dik
⤷  ''M. k. hindei'' Thomas, 1898

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderArtiodactyla
FamilyBovidae
GenusMadoqua
SpeciesM. kirkii
Photographed in
Namibia
Tanzania