Antelope

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Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species found all over the world in places such as Africa, Asia, and North America. The term refers to a ‘miscellaneous’ group within the family encompassing the old-world species which are not cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, or goats. A group of antelope is called a herd.[1]

The pronghorn antelope of North America is not a member of the family Bovidae, but the family Antilocapridae and not a true antelope. No antelope species are native to the Americas. True antelope have horns which are unbranched and never shed, while Pronghorns have branching horns, and shed annually.

Contents

Etymology

The English word "antelope" first appears in 1417 and is derived from the Old French antelop, itself derived from Medieval Latin ant(h)alopus, which in turn comes from the Byzantine Greek word anthólops, first attested in Eustathius of Antioch (c.336), according to whom it was a fabulous animal "haunting the banks of the Euphrates, very savage, hard to catch and having long saw-like horns capable of cutting down trees".[2] It perhaps derives from Greek anthos (flower) and ops (eye), perhaps meaning "beautiful eye" or alluding to the animals long eyelashes; however this may be a later folk etymology. The word talopus and calopus, from Latin, came to be used in heraldry. In 1607 it was first used for living, cervine animals.

Species

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