Exotic Meat lovers, make it your New Year's
resolution to try Antelope Meat this year. Antelope meat is 97% lean. Antelope Meat is a more
healthful and flavorful alternative to the standard boeuf du jour. And the best
place in America to get it is from Exotic Meat Markets, USA. Africa houses
approximately 71 species of antelope. India houses three species of Antelope. There is probably more Omega-3 in Antelope Meat
than a piece of salmon because it is truly completely grass fed or brush fed
meat. They are not eating grain out there. They are the wild antelopes of Texas.
Texas raises the best game because it resembles the Antelope's indigenous
climate, because the rain and the vegetation are similar. Antelopes are herbivores. They feed on fresh green
grass, buds of flowers, fruits, twigs, and stems. They also need a steady
supply of water around their habitat. Therefore, most antelopes are found in
the grasslands of most continents / subcontinents. They are also found in
forests. However, many antelopes are found in unusual habitats as well - there
are many antelope species that have adapted to cold climatic conditions, desert
regions and even rocky terrains.
Antelope is the name given to a large group of
hollow-horned mammals that ruminate. They largely inhabit the Asian and African
regions. There is much diversity in the appearance of many of the African
antelopes, as their size, built, and color are best suited to their ecological
niche. The genesis of the word antelope is interesting.
'Anthólops', the Byzantine Greek word for antelope, was perhaps coined from the
two Greek words 'anthos' (meaning flower) and 'ops' (meaning eyes). The word
anthólops perhaps means an animal with beautiful eyes and/or long eyelashes. Indeed,
the eyes of an antelope look beautiful, like they were carved out by the most
skilled artist in the world. But did you know that the word 'antelope' does not
refer to a single species but a group of different animals? Also, the group
'antelope' is not a scientific taxon. 'Antelope' in fact refers to all animals
that do not fit in the group of buffaloes, sheep, cattle, goats, or bison. The
term 'antelope' is hence a wastebasket taxon. However, you will agree with me
when I say this wastebasket is exceptionally beautiful-looking! The word antelope conjures visions of a creature
which epitomizes grace and agility. Never clumsy, when the springbok leaps, it
glides through the air, landing and taking off in the same moment in time. The
colors and patterns on the head of the gemsbok are completely captivating and
the magnificent horns of the giant sable are a marvel of nature.
Blackbuck. The blackbuck is native to the Indian
subcontinent, and is found in states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Orissa,
Gujarat, Karnataka, etc. However, it has now been introduced into Texas and
Argentina as well. It is the only surviving species of its genus and has been
tagged with the status, 'Near Threatened' by IUCN (International Union for
Conservation of Nature) since 2003.
Nilgai. This antelope is native to India, Pakistan and
Nepal, Nilgai is the biggest Asian antelope. Wild population of this antelope
is seen in Texas. This antelope was introduced in Texas somewhere around the
1920s for recreational purposes. However, a few of these antelopes managed to
escape from captivity and now exist as a wild species.
Wildebeest. The wildebeest is famed for its annual migration,
a journey which is often considered one of the world's greatest wildlife
odysseys. Large numbers of wildebeest (sometimes up to 1.5 million) make this
journey, traveling 500 to 1000 miles every year in search of food and water.
The front of the wildebeest is heavily structured, with high shoulders, sloping
down to lower hindquarters and thin, spindly legs. Its neck is short, and it
has a black mane and beard, and curved, cow-like horns. Five subspecies of the
wildebeest are recognized.
Eland. The largest of the lot, this ox-like antelope has
two subspecies - Giant Eland and Common Eland. At the shoulder, the bulls of
both species range from 59 to 71 inches tall and weigh nearly a ton! The common
eland is tawny and may have white stripes on its torso. A distinctive feature
is the presence of a dewlap (a fold of loose skin hanging from the neck), which
grows larger in bulls. Its horns are straight with spirals. The Giant Eland has
a reddish-brown color and vertical stripes. Its horns can grow up to 48 inches
long. By temperament, it is shy and elusive. Unable to sustain a gallop for an
extended period of time, it can trot for hours and is known to jump over fences
that are 6 feet high. The Western Giant Eland is a highly-endangered species.
Gemsbok. The Gemsbok is a strongly-built, sturdy antelope
that has the likeness of a horse. Striking white and black markings on its face
bear resemblance to the painted face of a tribal warrior, perfectly
complemented by long, straight, spear-like horns. It has a fawn coat that often
takes on a gray tint, and long, flowing tails. On an average, males weigh 500 lbs.
and females weigh 475 lbs. This grazing animal prefers to dwell in deserts,
scrubland, and bushland. It is an expeditious runner and can outpace a horse or
a pack of African Hunting Dogs.
Springbok. This beautiful gazelle is the national animal of
South Africa. It is between 27 to 31 inches tall and can weigh anything between
60 to 105 lbs., depending on its gender. Not only is this animal beautifully
structured, but the confluence of colors on its body, the way the sharp black
side stripe is present where white meets tan, creates a striking effect. The
springbok is popular for its characteristic high, stiff-legged leap called
pronking. This is done by jumping repeatedly into the air with an arched back
and lowered neck, while lifting the flap along its back. Once a dominant
migrating species, they still roam the wild in large numbers, but are also
common on farms and ranches.
Royal Antelope. Contrary to its name, the Royal is the smallest
antelope in the world, often sharing its proportions with a hare. It usually
weights under 10 lbs. and is about one foot tall at the shoulder. This
endangered antelope inhabits regions where there is dense vegetation, and is
shy and nocturnal by nature. Its hind limbs are tucked under its body and are
longer than its forelimbs, like those of a rabbit. The similarity extends to
its face, large eyes, and small, translucent ears. It has a narrow muzzle, long
tongue, and a smooth, shiny coat.
Bongo. This inhabitant of South Africa is divided into
two subspecies - the Western or Lowland Bongo and the rare Eastern or Mountain
Bongo. The lowland Bongo is nocturnal and resides in dense jungles. Its
coloring exemplifies the diverse appearance of African antelopes and the
existence of incredible beauty within each. With a coat that looks like an
artist's creation, its reddish-brown color is broken by vivid, vertical yellow-and-white
stripes, that provide a perfect camouflage. This large antelope is similar in
proportion to the Eland. On an average, males weigh 660 pounds and females
weigh 530 pounds. Both male and female Bongos have spiral horns that take the
shape of a lyre and slope over the back.
Sable. The Sable is a majestic African antelope. This
large antelope, resembling both a horse and a goat, stands between 46 to 55
inches tall and weighs up to 517 pounds, males being larger than females. Its
resplendent appearance makes it a prize catch among game hunters. The males
have a shiny black coat while the females may be different shades of brown,
depending on their age. This is in sharp contrast to the white on their
underbelly, rump, neck, and face. Their crowning glory is their enormous horns
that sweep back in a majestic arch, and may grow over a meter long in males!
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