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Duiker Facts, Habitat, Diet

Evolution and systematics

The Cephalophinae belong to the neotragine radiation of bovids. The ancestors of these looking antelope first appeared through the Miocene, and later invaded Africa and Asia. Although their fossil report is sparse, Cephalophinae share many similarities with early bovids. Modern Cephalophinae include 18 species represented by two genera, Sylvicapra and Cephalophus. Sixty-five subspecies have been recognized. Cephalophus could be divided into 4 subgenera, which could be described because the conservative dwarfs, the varied pink duiker lineage, the fiber duiker lineage, and the large duiker species. Several researchers have argued that the conservative dwarf subgenus is, in actual fact, a singular genus, Philantomba.

Physical traits

The Cephalophinae range significantly in dimension. Their physique form is constant across species, and designed for touring via dense vegetation. They have arched our bodies, quick forelegs, lengthy hind limbs, and powerful hindquarters. Females are sometimes as a lot as 4% longer and could also be taller than males. Cephalophinae weigh 9-176 lb (6-80 kg) and attain shoulder heights of 12-34 in (30-85 cm). Their coats are coarse and usually reddish brown, with a white underbelly. However, their coloring can vary from pale grey to darkish brown or black, and a number of other species have distinctive coat colours and patterns. Tails could also be as quick as 1.5 in (Four cm) or so long as 6 in (15 cm). A hair tuft between a pair of quick, ridged horns is widespread. Duikers have massive, gash-like scent glands beneath the attention.


Cephalophinae have a widespread distribution across subSaharan Africa and on the islands adjoining to these coastal areas. The areas of best density are in equatorial Africa throughout the rainforest belt that stretches from Guinea to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Duikers desire habitats of rainforest or dense bushland, though some species select to dwell in swamps or mountainous areas. Urbanization has pressured some populations to relocate or adapt to the native ecology. Others, extra inclined to habitat loss and ecological exploitation, have patchy distributions.


Duikers earned their title for his or her tendency to flee in a collection of diving jumps or to duck for canopy beneath bushes and in fallen tree trunks when frightened. The title is derived from the Afrikaans phrase for diver. Most duiker species are nocturnal, foraging for food and surveying their territory from nightfall to daybreak. They stay sedentary through the daytime, typically hidden inside hole timber or behind fallen trunks. In addition to being skittish, each female and male duikers are extremely territorial animals. They are usually discovered alone, in pairs, or in pairs with one teenager, they usually dwell in exactly outlined habitats. Some species have fastened core territories with dynamic boundaries that overlap with different pairs, whereas others hold stricter borders. Duikers will patrol their territories alone or in pairs, and ward off any intruders. In zoos, male duikers are illiberal of different males they usually battle violently if housed in the identical pen. Females appear extra tolerant of each other in captive settings. Duikers mark their territorial boundaries, their mates, and their calf with olfactory cues secreted from the maxillary glands, placed under the attention. Pedal glands, placed throughout the hooves, and feces additionally function territorial scent markers. Bucks mutually mark by urgent their glands in opposition to one another prior to combating.

Feeding ecology and weight loss program

Cephalophinae have various diets and notable feeding habits, preferring the leaves, shoots, and tender branches of timber and bushes, fruits, and seeds. As a lot as 90% of the animal’s weight loss program could also be derived from fruits and leaves, with some seasonal variation. They can typically be discovered grazing beneath timber on the fruits and seeds dropped by monkeys. Occasionally, they'll eat bugs, eggs, birds, and small mammals. Cephalophinae are identified to raid plantations adjoining to forests for palm nuts, mangoes, and cocoa pods. Cephlophinae conduct most foraging between nightfall and daybreak. The wet season deposits sufficient moisture on the leaves of bushes and timber for the animals to meet their fluid wants.

Reproductive biology

All members of the Cephalophinae subfamily are monogamous, typically producing one litter per year. Females are ####ually mature at roughly 9 months of age, males between 12 and 18 months. Cephalophinae are non-seasonal breeders, however in some species such because the bush duiker ( Sylvicapra grimmia), calf births might peak through the summer time months. Gestation among the many Cephalophinae could be as quick as 4 months or so long as 9 months. Single births are the norm, however it's not unprecedented for bush duikers to bear twins. Male duikers don't take part in rearing aside from delivering warnings about close by predators and defending the trio’s territory. Most calves are weaned from their moms between 5 and 9 months of age.

Conservation standing

Due to their timid nature, it's tough to estimate the inhabitants sizes of many species of Cephalophinae. Species with extensive habitat ranges and people which are extremely adaptable to altering ecological circumstances will not be threatened. However, 16 of 18 species have been placed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Most of these listed are Lower Risk, however C. adersi is Endangered and C. jentinki, C. spadix, and C. zebraare Vulnerable. Loss of habitat and bushmeat looking proceed to be the best threats to Cephalophinae.

Significance to people

The Cephalophinae signify a vital supply of protein and revenue all through the forest areas of Central and West Africa. There is ample proof that the present ranges of looking are unsustainable. In addition, the dwarf duikers are prized by trophy hunters, who search to add full physique mounts of the smaller animals to their collections.