Wildebeest facts for kids
- Genus Connochaetes
- Blue Wildebeest or Brindled Gnu (Connochaetes taurinus)
- Black Wildebeest or White-tailed Gnu (Connochaetes gnou)
Wildebeest grow to 1.15 to 1.40 metres (at the shoulder) and they weigh between 150 and 250 kilograms when they are fully grown. They live in the plains and open woodlands in southern Africa. The biggest herds can be found in the Serengeti desert. (see below) Wildebeest can live for more than 20 years.
What they eat
Like other members of the same family (antelopes, deer and goats, amongst others), they mainly eat grass (scientists call such animals Herbivores, which means: eating grass). But since in the African grasslands, there is not always grass, wildebeest are forced to wander (Scientists speak about migrations) to find food all year round. In May, about 1.5 million animals move from the grasslands to the woods. In November they move back; there is grass in the plains in summer.
Breeding and mating season
The cows (the female Gnus) will calve (give birth to the young) in summer in the plains. After the females have given birth, the breeding season begins. The dominant males mark off (and defend) some territory. They do this with feces, and with scent.
Images for kids
Wildebeest Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.