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What are the most beautiful ungulate species in your opinion ?

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 29 Oct 2020.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    What are the most beautiful / impressive / interesting ungulate species in your opinion and why ?

    You may choose five examples from either the odd toed or the even toed ungulates for your examples.

    Please feel free to also include any other information in your comment such as personal experiences with the species etc as these are always interesting for me to read.

    I look forward to reading your replies !
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2020
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  2. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I have a long list, but probably the top five are:

    Saola
    Beira
    Zebra Duiker
    Gaur
    Giant Eland
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for you reply @twilighter !

    Interestingly all of the species on your list with the exception of the saola are IUCN vulnerable species.

    So a question for you, is it the appearance or the rarity of the saola which puts it at the top of your list ?
     
  4. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    My girlfriend wearing cow slippers.
    And the gerenuk.
     
  5. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    It is mostly the unique appearance and morphology, that put Saola very high on my list. It has a grace and beauty of a forest antilope, but at the same time is closer relative to the Wild Cattles.

    The rarity and enigmatic status of Saola also make it very intriguing species for me, but are not the main reasons to put it in the list. I was thinking to mention my favourite Ungulate, the Kouprey, but most probably it left this World already.
     
  6. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Lesser kudu
     
  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

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    Of course, the same may well apply to the Saola now too :(
     
  8. nczoofan

    nczoofan Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Gaur
    Sitatunga
    Nyala (probably my favorite)
    Saola
     
  9. Mai Thai

    Mai Thai Well-Known Member

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    Golden Takins
     
  10. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Did something happen recently? I had no idea Saolas were possibly extinct.
     
  11. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    My top 5 are:
    Sumatran rhino
    Okapi
    Water deer
    Saola
    White-bearded wildebeest
    Believe it or not that last one was my favorite animal for most of my childhood.
     
  12. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

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    Nothing has happened per se, other than the already-present pressures of hunting, habitat loss and population fragmentation - but given how seldom the species is sighted alive (the last two sightings in the wild were in 1998 and 2013 I believe) and how low the population is estimated to be (possibly the low double-figures) it might well have slipped away quietly without our notice, much as the Kouprey did.
     
  13. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Only 5?? Hmm. I'm going to ignore horses and cetaceans, to make it slightly easier.

    Pronghorn
    Addax
    Beisa
    Bontebok
    Bongo
    Bushbuck
    Sitatunga
    Nyala
    Roan
    Nilgai
    Himalayan Tahr
    Beira

    All the duikers
    All the gazelles

    Marsh Deer
    Chital
    White-tailed Deer
    Sika Deer

    .. that's my short list :)
     
  14. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    My list of the most beautiful ungulates would be:

    zebra duiker
    African water chevrotain
    bushbuck
    Prince Alfred's deer
    Grevy's zebra

    However my favourites would have to be:

    common hippopotamus
    white-tailed gnu
    Indian rhinoceros
    saiga antelope
    takin

    although I don't think these could be described as "beautiful".
     
  15. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your comment @Jurek7 !

    Lol !

    The gerenuk is a very interesting choice. Those incredibly lanky physical proportions that have evolved to help them browse on leaves like the acacia and for extra agility in escaping predators are very elegant looking.

    I don't think I've ever actually seen one of these antelopes (neither captivity or the wild) so all I know about the species comes from reading and documentaries but I would certainly like to see one in the flesh one day.

    Have you seen this species in a zoo or the wild?
     
    Last edited: 30 Oct 2020
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the saola does have a singular appearance / morphology doesn't it ?

    I like the way you have described it there as it does seem to be almost antelope like (a little like a bongo perhaps) in appearance but it does also strongly remind me of the lowland anoa too.

    Have you read the book "The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth's Rarest Creatures" by William duBuy's ?

    If you haven't already then you should definitely check it out as it is a beautifully written non-fiction travelogue about the species and its conservation and I'm sure you would enjoy it.

    Sadly, I do think that the Kouprey is already extinct, yes. I know it is still listed by the IUCN as being "critically endangered" but I just don't think there is any real substantial evidence that suggests that it is still extant.

    Thank you for the comment @Dassie rat !

    I've seen this species in zoos and I also think it is a very majestic looking animal with those beautiful stripes and spiral horns.

    Have you seen it in the wild by any chance ?
     
    Last edited: 30 Oct 2020
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  17. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Sadly I also tend towards thinking this species might be extinct too.

    Robinchaud still thinks that there might be some out there in South-East Asia and of course they are very cryptic animals so the rarity of any sightings is perhaps not exactly unusual.

    However, I really think that given the pressures that the saola was / is under that the population will have declined to the point of functional extinction and there is a good chance that it is now totally extinct too.
     
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  18. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    I think the most beautiful has to be the Okapi, It is like the zebra and giraffe combined.
    I think onagers and przewalski's horse are also very nice looking
    Malayan tapirs also are what I consider 'beautiful'
     
  19. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I have the book, thank you!

    The recent actions by the Saola WGroup give some hope, but William Robichaud plans to resign and Covid-19 could hold the progress back.

    The Saola probably will be the Vietnam's mascot of the SEA games, but the Kouprey was named national animal of Cambodia too late and this didn't save him. Which reminds me that the Tamaraw is one of the Philippines national animals...

    I remember the late 80's and early 90's when the Kouprey Action Plan came out and the species still was considered extant and there were hopes for it's survival. As @TeaLovingDave said, it slipped away quietly without our notice...

    There is a nice book written by the ZooChater Bret Newton called The Lost Ox, which follows the Kouprey steps on its way out.
     
    Last edited: 30 Oct 2020
  20. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I've seen the lesser kudu at Hannover Zoo. I haven't been to mainland Africa.