Animals of the world, Saiga antelope

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saiga antelope (640x478)

  • The saiga is a small species of antelope
  • It lives in steppes and semi-deserts of central Asia around Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
  • Saiga antelopes have a distinctive large, bulbous nose
  • The coat is composed of a wooly underlayer and a course set of bristly hairs which protect the saiga antelope from the elements. Its coat is a light buff colour, which becomes thicker and white in the winter.
  • The saiga stands 61–81 cm (24–32 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 26–69 kg (57–152 lbs)
  • Only males possess horns. These horns, thick and slightly translucent, are wax-coloured and show 12 to 20 pronounced rings.
  • The saiga can migrate over distances of up to 1,000 kilometres between summer and winter
  • It feeds on various grasses, onions, shrubs, and other desert plants.
  • The saiga antelope is active mostly during the day, although it may rest at midday
  • The average lifespan is 6-10 years