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.