Thomson’s Gazelle

Scientific Name

Gazella thomsoni

Description

Thomson’s gazelle, or “tommies”, have a light coat on top with a distinctive dark stripe on its side. Their horns are long and slightly curved.

Food

Thomson’s gazelles eat leaves and short grass. They get the water they need from the grass they eat.

Habitat

Thomson’s gazelle can be found in Tanzania, Kenya, and southern Sudan. They mainly stay in the grassy plains where food is most abundant and the landscape is open enough to allow large herds.

Predators

Tommies are the prey of many creatures, including cheetahs, cape hunting dogs, lions, honey badgers, jackals, hyenas, leopards, and crocodiles. Their young are preyed upon by serval cats, jackals, baboons, eagles, and pythons. Despite the large number of predators, Thomson’s gazelles can be found in numbers of up to 500,000 in Africa. Their only defense is to flee, and they are excellent escape artists. They can leap 10 feet into the air, jump 30 feet in a single bound, and make turns much faster than a cheetah can.

Social Structure

Thomson’s gazelles are very plentiful, living in herds of up to 200 members. During migration, thousands will travel together.

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