Zebra Duiker Facts
- Many zoologists consider the Zebra Duiker to be the one of the most highly distinctive and unique looking of all antelopes. Many also believe it was the first species of duiker to have evolved. It was first recognized and cataloged by British zoologist John Edward Gray in 1838.
- Also worth noting, this animal remains rarely seen, with limited numbers that appear to be decreasing quickly. Due to the devastating combination of greatly reduced habitat range, the IUCN currently lists this remarkably unique species as Vulnerable.
- Some hope still remains for the continued survival of this animal. The majority of its remaining numbers currently live within the boundaries of protected areas, such as Gola National Park in Sierra Leone, and Sapo National Park in Liberia.
- The species has a reputation for extreme shyness and quietness, with neither gender making much noise. Yet when it does, it consists of small grunting sounds.
Zebra Duiker Physical Description
Its incredible color pattern stands out as the most noteworthy physical attribute of the Zebra Duiker. Its coat typically consists of either a golden or reddish-brown backgrounds. The animal also displays 12-16 zebra-like stripes on the back and hindquarters, hence the common name.
Adults average about 35 in (90 cm) in length, and 17.5 in (45 cm) in height at the shoulder. Weights are usually 44 lb (20 kg), and sexual dimorphism remains a factor, with females generally slightly larger in size than males.
It also has very short, rounded horns, with sharply pointed tips. These average 2 in (5 cm) for males, and 1 in (2.5 cm) for females.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Genus: Cephalopus
- Species: C. zebra
Zebra Duiker Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The tiny Zebra Duiker remains present in widely scattered groupings, in Midwest Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. Incidentally, its habitat principally consists of forested regions such as rainforests. Less commonly, individuals sometimes establish themselves in lowland forests and on hillsides.
The diet of this ruminant typically consists of seeds, foliage, and fruit, though it will consume small rodents occasionally.
Most live a generally solitary life, except when mating and raising young. Among this species, males and females alike share in caring for the offspring.
In its natural habitat, this species also has a primarily nocturnal, yet adaptable lifestyle. Finally, its primary natural predators consist of crowned eagles and leopards.