AskDefine | Define impala

Dictionary Definition

impala n : African antelope with ridged curved horns; moves with enormous leaps [syn: Aepyceros melampus]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Impala

English

Etymology

Zulu

Pronunciation

Noun

impala
  1. An African antelope Aepyceros melampus noted for its leaping ability; the male has ridged, curved horns,

Translations

Dutch

Noun

impala (plural impala's)

Italian

Verb

impala
  1. Form of Third-person singular present tense, impalare
  2. Form of Second-person singular imperative, impalare#Italian|impalare

Portuguese

Noun

impala m|f

Extensive Definition

An impala (Aepyceros melampus Greek aipos "high" ceros "horn" + melas "black" pous "foot") is a medium-sized African antelope. The name impala comes from the Zulu language. They are found in savannas and thick bushveld in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, northern Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern Angola, northeastern South Africa and Uganda (the source of that country's capital city's name - Kampala).

Appearance

Average mass for an Impala is approximately 75 kilograms. They are reddish-brown in color with lighter flanks, have When frightened or startled the whole impala herd starts leaping about in order to confuse their predator. They can jump distances more than 9 meters (30 feet) and 2.5 meters (8 feet) high. Leopards, cheetah, Nile crocodiles, lions, spotted hyenas and wild dogs prey on impala.

Social structure and reproduction

Females and young form herds of up to two hundred individuals. When food is plentiful, adult males will establish territories and round up any female herd that enter their grounds and will chase away bachelor males that follow. They will even chase away recently weaned males. A male impala tries to prevent any female from leaving is territory. During the dry seasons, territories are abandoned as herds must travel farther to find food. Large, mixed tranquil herds of females and males form.
Young male impala who have been made to leave their previous herd form bachelor herds of around thirty individuals. Males that are able to dominate their herd are contenders for assuming control of their territory. The breeding season of impala, also called rutting, begins toward the end of the wet season in May. The entire affair typically lasts approximately three weeks. While young are born after seven months, the mother has the ability to prolong giving birth for an additional month if conditions are harsh. When giving birth a female impala will isolate herself from the herd despite numerous attempts by the male to keep her in his territory. The impala mother will keep the fawn in an isolated spot for a few days or even leave it lying out in hiding for a couple days, weeks, or more before returning to the herd. There the fawn will join a nursery group and will go to its mother only to nurse and when predators are near. Fawns are suckled for 4 to 6 months. Males who mature are forced out of the group and will join bachelor herds.

Taxonomy

In the past, taxonomists have put the impala in the same tribe as gazelles, kobs and hartebeests. However it was found that the impala was so different from any of these tribes that it was put in its own tribe, Aepycerotini respectively.
There are three subspecies:

References

impala in Afrikaans: Rooibok
impala in Bulgarian: Импала
impala in Czech: Impala
impala in German: Impala
impala in Spanish: Aepyceros melampus
impala in Esperanto: Impalo
impala in French: Impala
impala in Galician: Aepyceros melampus
impala in Croatian: Impala
impala in Italian: Aepyceros melampus
impala in Hebrew: אימפלה
impala in Luxembourgish: Impala
impala in Lithuanian: Impala
impala in Hungarian: Impala
impala in Malay (macrolanguage): Impala
impala in Dutch: Impala
impala in Japanese: インパラ
impala in Norwegian: Impala
impala in Polish: Impala
impala in Portuguese: Impala
impala in Russian: Импала
impala in Finnish: Impala
impala in Swedish: Impala
impala in Ukrainian: Імпала
impala in Chinese: 高角羚
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