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Thompson's Gazelle.jpeg
Thomson's gazelle
Scientific classification

Günther, 1884

A gazelle is any of many antelope species in the genus Gazella. This article also deals with the six species included in two further genera, Eudorcas and Nanger, which were formerly considered subgenera of Gazella. A third former subgenus, Procapra, includes three living species of Asian gazelles.

Gazelles are known as swift animals. Some are able to run at bursts as high as 100 km/h (60 mph) or run at a sustained speed of 50 km/h (30 mph). Gazelles are found mostly in the deserts, grasslands, and savannas of Africa; but they are also found in southwest and central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. They tend to live in herds, and eat less coarse, easily digestible plants and leaves.

Gazelles are relatively small antelopes, most standing 60–110 cm (2–3.5 ft) high at the shoulder, and are generally fawn-colored.

The genus Gazella has about 10 species. Four further species are extinct: the red gazelle, the Arabian gazelle, the Queen of Sheba's gazelle, and the Saudi gazelle. Most surviving gazelle species are considered threatened to varying degrees. Closely related to the true gazelles are the Tibetan and Mongolian gazelles (species of the genus Procapra), the blackbuck of Asia, and the African springbok.

One widely familiar gazelle is the African species Thomson's gazelle (Eudorcas thomsoni), which is around 60 to 70 cm (24 to 28 in) in height at the shoulder and is coloured brown and white with a distinguishing black stripe. The males have long, often curved, horns.

Like many other prey species, Tommies and springboks (as they are familiarly called) exhibit a distinctive behaviour of stotting (running and jumping high before fleeing) when they are threatened by predators, such as cheetahs, lions, African wild dogs, crocodiles, hyenas, and leopards.


The gazelles are divided into three genera and numerous species.

Genus Common and binomial names Image Range
Gazella Arabian gazelle
G. arabica
Arabian Peninsula
Cuvier's gazelle
G. cuvieri
Cuvier's Gazelle.jpg Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia
Dorcas gazelle
G. dorcas
Gazella dorcas, Israel.jpg North and saharan Africa, Sinai and Israel
Goitered gazelle
G. subgutturosa
Sand gazelle (gazella subgutturosa marica).jpg Northern Azerbaijan, eastern Georgia, part of Iran, parts of Iraq and southwestern Pakistan, southeastern Turkey, Afghanistan and the Gobi Desert
Chinkara or
Indian gazelle
G. bennettii
Chinkara Desert NP Jaisalmer.jpg Iran, Pakistan and India
Mountain gazelle
G. gazella
Gazella gazella.jpg Israel, the Golan Heights, and Turkey
Rhim gazelle
G. leptoceros
Slender-horned gazelle (Cincinnati Zoo).jpg Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan
Speke's gazelle
G. spekei
Speke's Gazelle - Gazella spekei.jpg Horn of Africa
Neumann's gazelle
G. erlangeri
Arabian Peninsula
†Saudi gazelle
G. saudiya
Arabian Peninsula
Eudorcas Mongalla gazelle
E. albonotata
Floodplain and savanna of South Sudan
Red-fronted gazelle
E. rufifrons
Gazella rufifrons AB.jpg The Sahel region of central Africa
†Red gazelle
E. rufina
Mountain areas of North Africa
Thomson's gazelle
E. thomsoni
Eat228.jpg East Africa
Nanger Dama gazelle
N. dama
MhorrGazelleza.jpg Sahara desert and the Sahel
Grant's gazelle
N. granti
Ngorongoro Grant-Gazelle.jpg Northern Tanzania to South Sudan and Ethiopia, and from the Kenyan coast to Lake Victoria
Soemmerring's gazelle
N. soemmerringii
Soemmerring's Gazelle, St. Louis Zoo.jpg Horn of Africa

† = extinct

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