Nilgai | description

Description

Close view of a male nilgai showing the facial markings, throat patch, beard and short horns.

The nilgai is the largest antelope in Asia.[6][28] It stands 1–1.5 metres (3.3–4.9 ft) at the shoulder;[29] the head-and-body length is typically between 1.7–2.1 metres (5.6–6.9 ft).[6] Males weigh 109–288 kilograms (240–635 lb); the maximum weight recorded is 308 kilograms (679 lb). Females are lighter, weighing 100–213 kilograms (220–470 lb).[29] Sexual dimorphism is prominent; the males are larger than females and differ in colouration.[2]

A sturdy thin-legged antelope, the nilgai is characterised by a sloping back, a deep neck with a white patch on the throat, a short mane of hair behind and along the back ending behind the shoulder, and around two white spots each on its face, ears, cheeks, lips and chin.[6] The ears, tipped with black, are 15–18 centimetres (5.9–7.1 in) long.[2] A column of coarse hair, known as the "pendant" and around 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long in males, can be observed along the dewlap ridge below the white throat patch.[29] The tufted tail, up to 54 centimetres (21 in),[30] has a few white spots and is tipped with black.[6] The forelegs are generally longer,[30] and the legs are often marked with white "socks".[2]

While females and juveniles are orange to tawny, males are much darker – their coat is typically bluish grey. The ventral parts, the insides of the thighs and the tail are all white.[30] A white stripe extends from the underbelly and broadens as it approaches the rump, forming a patch lined with dark hair.[29] Almost white, though not albino, individuals have been observed in the Sariska National Park (Rajasthan, India)[31] while individuals with white patches have been recorded at zoos.[32] The hairs, typically 23–28 centimetres (9.1–11.0 in) long, are fragile and brittle.[33] Males have thicker skin on their head and neck that protect them in fights.[6] The coat is not well-insulated with fat during winter, and consequently severe cold might be fatal for the nilgai.[34]

Only males possess horns, though a few females may be horned as well. The horns are 15–24 centimetres (5.9–9.4 in) long but generally shorter than 30 centimetres (12 in).[6] Smooth and straight, these may point backward or forward.[35] The horns of the nilgai and the four-horned antelope lack the ringed structure typical of those of other bovids.[36]

The maximum recorded length of the skull is 376 millimetres (14.8 in). The dental formula is 0.0.3.33.1.3.3. The milk teeth are totally lost and the permanent dentition completed by three years of age. The permanent teeth get degraded with age, showing prominent signs of wear at six years of age. The nilgai has sharp ears and eyes,[37] though its sense of smell is not as acute.[38]

Other Languages
العربية: نلجاي
azərbaycanca: Hindistan antilopu
বাংলা: নীলগাই
български: Антилопа нилгау
brezhoneg: Nilgo
català: Nilgau
čeština: Nilgau
euskara: Nilgai
فارسی: نیلی‌گاو
français: Antilope Nilgaut
Gaeilge: Niolgá
한국어: 닐가이영양
हिन्दी: नीलगाय
Ido: Nilgavo
Bahasa Indonesia: Nilgai
עברית: נילגאי
ქართული: ნილგაუ
Kiswahili: Nilgai
лезги: Нилгау
македонски: Нилгај антилопа
മലയാളം: നീലക്കാള
मराठी: नीलगाय
Bahasa Melayu: Nilgai
Nederlands: Nijlgau
नेपाली: निलगाई
日本語: ニルガイ
norsk nynorsk: Nilgau
олык марий: Нильгау
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਰੋਝ
پنجابی: نیل گاۓ
русский: Нильгау
Scots: Nilgai
Simple English: Nilgai
slovenčina: Boselaphus
српски / srpski: Нилгај
suomi: Nilgau
svenska: Nilgau
தமிழ்: நீலான்
удмурт: Нильгау
українська: Нільгау
Tiếng Việt: Linh dương bò lam
中文: 藍牛羚