A full-face view of a Roan antelope and speech bubble and text 'You Looking At Me?'Roan antelope, bandit of the savannah. it looks like a bandit, don’t you think, with its contrasting light and dark facial markings.

We photographed this animal in a safari park in the UK. It had just munched its way through a hearty meal of grass, and the underside of its jaw was streaked with green juice.

As we looked at it, we couldn’t help but picture it in its natural habitat in tall savannah grass. It is easy to imagine that its facial markings help to break up its outline and make it less visible to hungry lions.

Roan antelope are large animals as antelope go, with very large ears and black scimitar-like horns.

The natural habitat of the Roan antelope is on the savannah grasslands of central Africa and, not surprisingly in this modern world, the species is endangered in the wild.

They live in small groups of between five and twenty animals and there is always a dominant male. The males often fight for dominance, which makes the ‘You Looking At Me?’ alpha-male question in this animal’s face very fitting.

The Color Roan

Roan is the name given to the color of the coat of many animals – from horses and cattle to dogs and guinea pigs.

It is a mixture of colored hairs and white hairs, which means that the coat stays the same color as the animal gets older rather than fading to white.

In the case of the Roan antelope, it is these mixed hairs that gives it the buff or fawn colouring along its flanks and the vibrant reddish color to its upper parts. That is where the Roan antelope, bandit of the savannah, gets its name.


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