Mating Antelope Show Off Knees. Seriously.

Sound communicates animal's strength, prevents conflict

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User

Posted Nov 4, 2008 1:58 PM CST

(Newser) – Doesn't sound all that sexy, but Africa’s male eland antelope has developed his own way of demonstrating its sexual prowess and warding off rivals. Males click their knees to establish mating rights and avoid brawls: the louder the click, the larger the animal, and the more likely he is to defeat a challenger. Like "a string being plucked," the sound travels hundreds of meters, researchers tell the BBC.

This 1936 photo shows an eland antelope at a London zoo.   (Getty Images)
By clicking their knees, males warn each other to back off from fertile females. Antelope are pictured in a Kenyan national reserve.   (Getty Images)
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Eland antelope have a variety of signals they use to avoid conflict. Hair darkness, for example, signals their aggression levels.   (banditt066)

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