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Megan Wade

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Born and raised in Cape Town, Megan has always been drawn to the outdoors, spending much of her free time exploring Southern Africa and venturing into the mountains. Her passion for connecting with and helping others led her to pursue a BSc in ...

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on Exploring the Mystery: Why Female Wildebeest Have Horns

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Hi Megan, I’m so glad you joined Londolozi to stay with people too and show them the animals lives! Wildebeest are large and possess formidable hooves besides horns, like buffalo and other big antelope (oryx for example). They are often a target, but I see mothers are excellent in protecting their calves, they remind the buffalo with their young ones. This has been observed since long in other species like musk ox. As a consequence, horns do the main part here. Then to compete, if the hierarchy is strictly required, then a female that is stronger and has imposing horns may become the leader and also maybe chosen by male ( in the animal reign it is more common that female choose males anyway). I think that their strong mother instinct along with their tight relationship might be a reason , supported by genetic data….

Thanks for the information Megan. All three are probably in some combination to explain the reason for female horns. My bet is self defense is one of the strongest reasons.

Dear Megan, thanks for that informations, interesting.

It certainly would look odd if the females do not have horns, we are so used to seeing them with horns standing next to the males with horns. Maybe they have horns to be able to protect themselves and their calves from predators.

Great blog on Wildebeest, Megan.

I’ve always thought the wildebeest was a curiously constructed animal anyway, so horns on females don’t seem out of place. If only evolutionary scientists could unlock the mysteries of so many members of the flora and fauna world that are fascinating, but then we’d have nothing to stimulate our curiosity or create our own hypothesis.

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