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Springbok Range Map (Southern Africa)
Springbok Range Map (Southern Africa)

Latin Name Antidorcas marsupialis
Conservation Status Conservation Dependent
Location Southern Africa
Colour Reddish/Brown
Length 1.2 - 1.4 m (4 - 4.5 ft)
Tail 15 - 30 cm (6 - 12 inches)
Weight 30 - 48 Kg (66 - 105 lbs)
Life Expectancy 7 - 9 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Springbok are a small antelope that have a body length between 1.2 and 1.4 m (4 - 4.5 ft), a shoulder height between 74 and 89 cms (29 - 35 inches), a tail length between 15 and 30 cms (6 - 12 inches) and they weigh between 30 and 48 kgs (66 - 105 lbs).

They are reddish brown in colour with a pale underside. On each of their flanks they have a dark brown stripe that separates their brown upperparts from their underside. Their head is white and they have a dark brown stripe that runs from each eye down to their upper lip.

They have a pocket-like skin flap that runs from the middle of their back to their tail. When they are excited or frightened they can lift this flap which makes the white hairs underneath stand up in a conspicuous crest that acts as a warning to other Springbok.

Springbok have ringed, curved, black horns that are present in both males and females. They can reach lengths of 48 cms (19 inches) in males, but females have shorter, thinner horns.

Springbok are known to leap up to 4 m (13 ft) in the air in an activity known as pronking. While in the air their body is curved, and their legs are stiff, close together and point downwards. Upon landing they immediately leap upwards again and during this period the crest on their back is raised. It is unknown why they pronk but it is possible they do it to indicate to predators that they have been spotted.

When required Springbok can reach speeds up to 90 km/hr (56 mph) and they are among the top ten fastest land animals in the world.


Springboks are found in the grasslands and semi-arid regions of southern Africa. During the breeding season females, their offspring and a dominant male are found in herds together and bachelor herds are formed by non-breeding males.

Springbok used to migrate in huge herds consisting of over 1 million individuals known as a "trek" or "trekbokken". Today most Springbok are confined to game reserves and privately owned land but in remote areas of Angola and Botswana groups of 1,500 individuals can still be seen.


Springbok feed on grasses and other vegetation. Their diet changes depending on the season; eating grass when water is available but switching to other more water rich plants, such as flowers, when water is scarce.


Springbok usually mate during the dry season and after a gestation period of 5 - 6 months, 1 young Springbok is born. For the first couple of days the youngster remains hidden in a bush or long grass before they join a nursery herd with their mother.

When they reach 6 months old they are weaned and females will remain with the herd where as young males will join a bachelor herd. Females reach sexually maturity at a year old and they will reproduce every second year. Males reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age.


The main predators of Springbok are humans cheetahs, leopards and lions.


There are three subspecies of Springbok:

Antidorcas marsupialis angolensis
Antidorcas marsupialis hofmeyri
Antidorcas marsupialis marsupialis

Interesting Facts

The South African national rugby union team are known as the "Springboks"

The name Springbok in Afrikaans and Dutch means:
spring - jump
bok - antelope, deer or goat

The Latin name "marsupialis" is derived from the pocket-like skin flap on their rump.

Similar Animals

Thomson's Gazelle


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