Scientific Name: Damaliscus lunatus
Size: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet
Weight: 200 to 300 pounds
Lifespan: 15 years
What does a topi look like?
The topi is a medium-sized antelope with a striking reddish-brown to purplish-red coat. Distinct black patches appear on the face, the upper forelegs and on the hips and thighs. To complete its singular appearance, the topi's yellowish-tan legs look like they are encased in stockings. Although not quite as large as its relative the hartebeest (kongoni), the topi has a similar body shape. But it does not have such a long narrow head nor is it as high at the shoulder. The female is usually lighter in color than the male. Both sexes have thick, heavily ringed, lyre-shaped horns about 21 inches long. Topis have good sight and hearing and can run quite fast with a bounding gait.
Where do topi's live?
Among the most socially advanced of the ungulates, the topi (also called the sassaby) occurs in the largest numbers in southern Sudan and in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. Its distribution is scattered, and populations isolated, probably because of habitat loss and hunting. Their favorite habitat are flood plains, but they are sometimes found in dry areas of open savanna and park woodland, taking to the shade during the heat of the day. They prefer flat lowlands, and can go without water for long periods of time only if they have access to green pastures.
What does a topi eat?
The topi eats only grass, its narrow muzzle being well adapted for selecting the tenderest growth. Their favorite habitat is the flood plain, but they are sometimes found in dry areas of open savanna and park woodland, taking to the shade during the heat of the day. If green grazing is not available, the topi must drink daily.
Did You Know this about the topi?
Both male and female topi like to rub their heads on the ground (to spread scent from facial glands), roll in earth and stir up mud with their horns.
They smear mud on their bodies with their hooves.
The gregarious topi spend much of their life with other antelopes such as wildebeest, and with zebra and ostrich.
Female topi have developed the ability to stall the labor process in order to delay giving birth if they sense immediate danger.
Topi are the swiftest of the ungulates, able to run at faster speeds than other similar antelope species.
Download free Topi wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.