Wildebeest Facts: One of the iconic actions that take place on the magical land of Tanzania since decades is the “Great Wildebeest Migration”. There are tons of people coming to Tanzania each year at the time of this “Great Migration” to witness the largest migration of the world.
Watching millions of Wildebeests in a specific manner pops various questions to create enthusiasm in mind. Here are some iconic facts about Wildebeests that will serve your curiosity about them.
Best Wildebeest Facts-
- Named as Wildebeest for its Untamed Appearance
Wildebeests look like very aggressive from their physical construction. They are wild and can’t be domesticated at all. Also, they tend to have very noisy vocalization. Due to these characteristics, they are named as such.
- Wildebeests are Also Known As Gnus
The scientific name of wildebeest is known as cannochaetes taurinus, however, there are very few who knows this name. They are widely known as Gnu also. There are 1.5 million Gnus that travel during the “Great Migration”.
- Containing Rectangular Shape Face
Their heads are rectangular and their looks resemble a lot to cow or ox. Both the male and female gnus have lengthy horns. These horns are semi-circular in look and grow outwards from the base of the head.
- Males are Darker than females in Colour
Males and females don’t look exactly similar, which makes it easy to differentiate. Mostly male gnus are darker in colour than female gnus. Another fact that makes the male Wildebeest different than the female is their weight. Male gnus usually weigh a few hundred pounds more than the male gnus.
- Started Grazing After Sun Rise
They are diurnal animals and search for food only after sunrise. They usually tend to feast upon the lower grasslands and you can only watch them grazing and searching food during the day time only. They are fond of dry longer grasses.
- Drink Water as Daily Needs
Another interesting fact about the wildebeest is they can’t stay without water for longer. Water is kind of their daily need, if not daily at least they need water in 1-day duration. They can’t survive without water maximum for more than 2-3 days.
- They Are Single Minded In Nature
They usually travel in large herds during the migration. There is no head or leader of the group. However, they all follow one way and they travel through the same path. They almost think in the same direction and always follow each other.
- Wildebeest Categorized In Two Species
There are 2 species of wildebeests that are living in the African Savannah; one is blue wildebeest and another one is black wildebeest. Both wildebeest species looks much similar in looks however, they have different habits. The prime difference is the black wildebeests are territorial while the blue wildebeests are migratory. Hence, only the blue wildebeests participate in the Great Migration.
- Wildebeest are Antelope Species
Wildebeests look a lot more like wild ox or cows. However, surprisingly they belong to the antelope species. Their front part of the body is strong from the rest part of the body and like all other antelopes and their hindquarters is slender. Due to its disproportional body, they look much similar to to the bovine family.
- One of the Largest Antelope by Size
From various facts about Wildebeests, one iconic one is they are one of the largest antelope species of Africa. They usually can reach up to 8 feet in length and weigh around 600 pounds. They can reach up to 4.5 feet of height.
- Herbivores in Nature
Interestingly as per their name, the wildebeests look quite aggressive and dangerous but they are herbivores by nature. They tend to only eat a plant-based diet and their favourite diet is the long lowland grasses.
- Responsible for World’s Great Migration
Due to the constant search of food and water, the wildebeests of Tanzania participate in an iconic migration that takes place every year on the land of Tanzania. During this migration, there are 1.5 million wildebeests that participate in this iconic journey and travel miles from Tanzania to Kenya in search of fresh grass and water.
It is known to be the largest migration of the world that occurs in Tanzania every year during the dry season. Not only wildebeests there are 200,000 zebras also participate in this great migration along with some other antelope species. However, wildebeests are the highest in numbers that make this largest land migration successful.
- Protect Each other During Migration
During the migration, they come across various hurdles. Predators attack is the prime of all. There are large numbers of grazers travel at once which gets very easier for the predators to hunt. During this migration period, they use to protect each other and always tend to travel in a group. They use their mass number as the weapon against the predators. Following the same rule, they tend to cross the Mara River at once in large numbers where the Nile crocodiles wait for them with open mouth. By being in a group they help each other fighting these predators and other hurdles.
- Good Traveller during Migration
They are one of the best travellers we can say among all other animals of the African savannah. During this epic journey, they tend to travel around 1,800 miles from north to south. This is astonishing. This endless journey of searching for food and water makes it the largest land migration occurs on the planet.
- Male Behaves Weird in Mating Sessions
Male wildebeests usually show some unusual behaviour during the mating season. They usually attract the females by rubbing a type of scent that is created during the mating season in the preorbital and interdigital gland on the ground. They are also known as the “clowns of the savannah” due to their wired behaviour during the mating season.
- Calves started running after short time of birth
During the migration season, the wildebeests keep running constantly and the only time they stay for a longer period is during the calving season. It continues from January to February. During this time there are 800 claves born every day. Interestingly they start walking and running after a few whiles of their birth. Since birth, they learn to chase the herds.
- Having Short Life Span of 20 years
Wildebeests have a very short life span. They live up to 20 years in the wild. Some of them even live much lesser than that due to the predator’s attack. They are mainly hunted by lions, cheetahs, and spotted hyenas.
The great migration that occurs every year in Tanzania and Kenya is a phenomenal action to witness once in a lifetime. These facts we have described here about wildebeest will help you understand the nature and character of these iconic animals of the land that are responsible for the largest migration on earth. To know more facts about the wildebeests and the great wildebeest migration just get in to touch with https://carnivoressafaris.co.tz/. You can plan your Great Migration watching Safari with us and grab a lifetime chance to witness this iconic journey.