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Duikers
Fossil range: Late Miocene to Recent
Maxwell's Duiker, Cephalophus maxwellii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Cephalophinae
Gray, 1871
Genera

Cephalophus
Philantomba
Sylvicapra

A duiker (pronounced /ˈdaɪkər/) is any of about 19 small to medium-sized antelope species from the subfamily Cephalophinae native to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Common Duiker.

Duikers are shy and elusive creatures with a fondness for dense cover; most are forest dwellers and even the species living in more open areas are quick to disappear into thickets. Their name comes from the Afrikaans/Dutch word for diver and refers to their practice of diving into tangles of shrubbery.

With a slightly arched body and the front legs a little shorter than the hind legs, they are well-shaped to penetrate thickets. They are primarily browsers rather than grazers, eating leaves, shoots, seeds, fruit, buds and bark, and often follow flocks of birds or troops of monkeys to take advantage of the fruit they drop. They supplement their diet with meat: duikers take insects and carrion from time to time, and even stalk and capture rodents or small birds. The Blue Duiker has a fondness for ants.

Species

References

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

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