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The Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) also known as the Chousingha is an antelope found in open forest in South Asia. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Tetracerus. Its primary distribution is in Indiamarker extending South of the Gangetic plains down to the state of Tamilnadumarker. Orissamarker constitutes the Eastern boundary of its distribution whereas the fragmented population at Girmarker is its westernmost distribution. A small population is also found in the drier forests of Nepalmarker.

Four-horned Antelope stand just over half a metre tall at the shoulder and weigh around 20 kilograms. Four-horned Antelope have a yellow-brown coat with the underside and insides of the legs being white. Its legs are thin and have a black stripe running down the forelegs.

Male Four-horned Antelope grow horns. Usually the animal has four; two between the ears and the second pair right on the front of the forehead. The male grows the first pair of horns at a young age of a few months and the second pair of horns indicates age and nutrition inputs to the animal and generally grow at an age of 14 to 15 months. The horns are never shed, but may get damaged during fights.

Four-horned Antelope live in dry deciduous forests and are solitary creatures. Four-horned Antelope are sedentary and may form territories, males tend to become very aggressive towards other males during mating season. Although many people say that these are mute animals, they can be heard while communicating either as an alarm call or to communicate with conspecifics. The call sounds like a husky 'phronk'.

Image:Vierhornantilope.jpgImage:ChausinghaSkullLyd2.png|SkullImage:ChausinghaLyd2.pngImage:ChousinghaHead.jpg

References

  • Baskaran, N., Desai, A. A., & Udhayan, A. (2009). Population distribution and conservation of the four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) in the tropical forest of Southern India. Scientific Transactions in Environment and Technovation, 2, 139-144.
  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is vulnerable
  • Sharma, K., Rahmani, A. R. and Chundawat, R. S. (2005). Ecology and Distribution of Four-horned antelope in India: Final Report. Bombay Natural History Society.



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