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Addra Gazelle
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Gazella dama ruficollis
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Bovidae
RANGE: southern Morocco and Senegal to Sudan
HABITAT: dry open country
DIET: dry bushy grasses and shrubs and acacia pods
ENEMIES: humans, wild dogs and spotted hyenas

The addra is the tallest and largest of the gazelles, standing 34-to-42 inches at the shoulder, weighing up to 160 pounds and having longer legs and neck than most gazelles. The head is relatively small, with a narrow muzzle and large eyes. The neck, most of back and flanks are reddish-chestnut, with a distinctive white spot below the throat. The underside and hindquarters are white; the short tail is white, tipped in black. Both sexes have horns curving flat back with upturned tips. The male?s horns have 18-to-23 distinct rings and smooth tips; the female?s horns are smaller and thinner, with less-distinct rings.

Social organization and behavior are affected by the seasons. The addra gazelle spends the dry season in the Sudan, occurring singly, or in small groups. With the rains, the animals migrate northward where groups may swell to 200, or more. Herds are open and fluid and males establish and defend territories only while breeding. Females are not bound to any particular territory or male; there is very little aggression and no obvious rank order among females. The animals breed seasonally, births peak with early spring rains so that the females have adequate food while nursing.

Gestation is five-to-six months, followed by a single birth, rarely twins. The newborn fawn is hidden from the herd and mothers with concealed young stay alone, or in small maternity herds. Unlike most other antelopes, mother gazelles team up to defend their young fawns against predators.

Gazelles have an unusual pronking gait. When playing or alarmed, they bounce along stiff-legged, with all four limbs landing together. Pronking may confuse predators and probably communicates alarm to other gazelles.