Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thomson's Gazelle

Thomson's gazelle is the most common gazelle in East Africa with numbers exceeding 500,000 and is sometimes known as a "Tommy." The main strongholds for the species are Serengeti NP, Masai Mara NR and Ngorongoro Crater, all areas we visited. It is named after Joseph Thomson, an explorer of the 19th century. 
Thomson's gazelles. Photo by Michael Lewin.
Thomson's gazelles, a mixture of males and females. Photo by Mark Edwards. 
It has a light brown coat with white underparts and a distinctive broad black band on its side. It also has black marks on its face, a black tail and a faint black stripe on each side of the white patch on the rump. The white patch on the rump extends to underneath the tail, unlike the Grant's gazelle where the white patch goes above it. The male horns are long and pointed, nearly parallel, with a slight curvature. Females generally have small spikes for horns, or they may be missing. The Grant's gazelle is larger and generally is missing the black stripe on the side. 
The Tommy is beautiful and it was always fun to see them.  This Tommy was in Masai Mara NR.

Photo by Judy.
A group of females in Serengeti NP.

1 comment:

  1. I like the appearance of stripes on the horns. It's very distinct in a bachelor herd where many horns can be seen at once.