The dik-dik: the second smallest antelope in the world.
Reaching 40cm/16in at the shoulder, these pocket-sized and dainty creatures can hide easily in thickets when under threat. When they bolt however, they can do so at speeds of up to 42kmh/26mph, and will leap away in a zig zag fashion. Females will also produce a whistling alarm through their nose to alert others of a threat, which sounds like ‘zik zik’. So that’s where the interesting name comes from…
Other interesting facts:
- once they’ve found a partner in crime, they’ll stick with them for life and have one kid at a time;
- they hardly drink, as they obtain most of their fluids from the vegetation that they eat and by staying awake in the night when it’s less hot;
- they’ll elongate their snouts to pant, which helps regulate their temperatures;
- and you could fit one into your handbag, but you probably wouldn’t be able to get one in there
This beautiful girl was peering at us curiously through the grass. Like a little Bambi.
Here’s to celebrating all of Earth’s creatures, great, small, and pocket-sized.