The springbok or springbuck (Antidorcas marsupialis) name comes from Afrikaan: spring = jump; bok = antelope, deer. A medium-sized antelope found mainly in south and southwest Africa, this bovid was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. The sole member of the genus Antidorcas, the Springbok has long, pointed ears, long neck and slender body. Lyre-shaped horns can be seen both in males and females – they are longer and thicker in males. The springbok can achieve top speeds of more than 50 miles per hour (80kph) and can jump more than 10 feet (3 meters) straight up. Although closely related to gazelles, the springbok is placed in a separate genus because of a unique structure on its back, consisting of a patch of white hair that is normally hidden beneath a skin fold but is erected during pronking/stotting – a leap in the air with an arched back and stiff legs, typically displayed when threatened.
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