AppearanceColouration of this species varies widely over its vast geographic range. As many as 19 subspecies are thought to exist, ranging from chestnut in forested areas of Angola to grizzled gray in northern savannas and light brown shades in arid regions. It grows to about 50 cm in height and generally weighs 12 to 25 kg ; although females are generally larger and heavier than the males. The males' horns can grow to 11 cm long.
BehaviorBreeding is year round and the female gives birth to one fawn after a gestation period of what is variously estimated at 3.0 to 7.5 months. The common duiker has a wide diet; beyond herbivorous browsing for leaves, flowers, fruits and tubers, they will also eat insects, frogs, small birds and mammals, and even carrion. As long as they have vegetation to eat , they can go without drinking for very long periods. In the rainy season, they will frequently not drink water at all, instead obtaining fluids from fruits. They will often scavenge for these fruits below trees in which monkeys are feeding. They are active both day and night, but become more nocturnal near human settlements.
Males are territorial and smear gland secretions on rocks and branches to mark their territories; their preferred resting places are generally on elevated ground, where they can observe their territory. Females, by contrast, prefer deeper cover. The overall success of this species stems from its ability to inhabit a wide variety of habitats, as well as from its adaptable, generalist diet.
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