Large, horse like antelope with standing mane, sickle shaped horns (male and female), and long, pointed ears. Born brown. Turn rusty, then darken with age. Adult males turn black. Females darken a variable amount, some southern natives going black. White face marks and underparts contrast sharply. Male horns average 32-41". Female lengths 23.5-31.5". Male weight 440-500 lbs. Female 400-507 lbs.
Food habits: Grazer. Highly selective grass specialists even though can mean concentrating on less common grass species. Take little browse or forbs, except sometimes during dry season. May starve rather than eat alternatives. Localize on fresh growth. Avoid course grasses. Eat out preferred foods in small area before more to another part of home range.
Habitat: Grassy woodland - neither dense brush nor open savannah. Flat to gently sloping. Smaller, more permanent home range if preferred food is ample and near water.
Water and climate: Dependable water a necessity. Usually drink both morning and evening, and also at midday in hot weather. Can sometimes manage 2-3 days without water. Droughts work hardship. On poor range, even an annual dry season is a strain.
Breeding season: Seasonal breeders.Birth season: Height of growing season in Africa.Sexual maturity: Male 16-19 months; female 25 months.