Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Dik-Dik

A dik-dik is a small antelope in the Madoqua family.  There are four species of dik-dik in the world, Guenther's dik-dik, Salt's dik-dik, the silver dik-dik, and Kirk's dik-dik.  All four species live in Africa.  The tallest of the four, also the most common, the Kirk's dik-dik is only 14-18 inches tall and weighs 8-15 pounds.  Yes, they are that small. 

Dik-diks live in monogamous pairs on their proclaimed territory, living with their most recent young.  When the fawns reach sexual maturity, around 6-8 months, the parents run them off their territory.  The young then finds a mate and takes a new territory.

Dik-diks live in areas with good cover but without tall plants.  They are mainly nocturnal foragers who eat foliage, shoots, fruits, and berries. Surprisingly, they do not need to drink.

They're not a threatened species at this time.  Their main predators include humans and small carnivores.  They do face danger from humans who hunt them to use their bones for traditional jewelry and their skins for suede gloves.

 There's not too much more I'd like to say about these adorable critters.  Feel free to just take a moment to bask in their cuteness.  Oh, and yes, their names are pronounced the way you think they shouldn't be.