The term antelope does not denote a specific animal. It encompasses numerous browsing, even-toed ruminants (everyone that’s not sheep, cattle, and goat) belonging to the Bovidae family. The mammals are found in Africa and Eurasia, with gazelles and dik-diks some notable animals under the term antelope.
Interestingly, you can find other animals similar to antelopes in the wild and at home. They may have some differences and may not necessarily look exactly the same. But these animals share several characteristics with antelopes that make them similar.
Some of the animals similar to Antelope include Deer, Goats, Sheep, Muskoxen, Bison, Cattle, Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Camel, Alpaca, Llamas, Takin, Water Buffalo, Okapi and Pronghorn.
To learn more about these antelope-resembling animals, let’s read on.
Examples of Animals Similar to Antelope
Deer are hoofed ruminants you can easily recognize thanks to their two tiny and two large hooves on all feet. All 43 deer species are native to most parts of the world, except Antarctica and Australia.
To the untrained eye, you can easily confuse deer with antelopes just because of their appearance. Both have smooth fur, and some species of antelopes are almost the size of deer.
They’re all herd animals and famous for being speedy and skittish as defense mechanisms. You can also mistake a deer’s antler for antelope horns. What’s more, to make both animals similar, they share the same scientific order; Artiodactyla.
Goats are popular domesticated mammals found all over the world. There are also wild goats, ancestors of domestic goats, that inhabit shrublands and rocky areas of Asia.
Of all animals similar to antelopes, goats are the most popular. The two animals from the family Bovidae share many features, from smooth fur to horns to hooves. They are also browsers, although, unlike antelopes, goats feed in herds.
Looks aside, goats and antelopes demonstrate similar traits, like curiosity, and stubbornness. Also, both animals are built for climbing, although they often do it seemingly for fun.
The notable difference between the two animals is antelopes are way too fast and are larger than goats.
Like goats, sheep are popular domesticated mammals. Some species, such as Bighorn sheep, are also found in the wild in most parts of the world, including North America, Central Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Sheep and antelopes belong to the same family Bovidae, and all are members of the order Artiodactyla.
Hence they show similarities, including even-toed hooves, horns, and somewhat identical body shapes. They also have fine fur, although dense in sheep. What’s more, like antelopes, sheep demonstrate herd behavior and are all herbivores.
Muskoxen is a long-haired mammal from the Bovidae family. Although native to the Arctic, it has also been introduced to other cool areas such as Sweden and Norway.
Although muskoxen and antelopes differ in some ways, including fur texture and living habitats, the two animals show a couple of similarities, which is not surprising as both belong to the same family and class. They all have long, curved horns, are even-toed, and possess short tails. They also prefer grazing in herds, feeding on grass and sometimes shrubs.
Bison are large, ox-like grazing mammals native to Northern America and Europe. They prefer scrublands and semi-open grasslands in these regions.
Coming from the family Bovidae, you can expect bison to share some traits with antelopes. Both are even-toed and have hollow hones. Also, bison are agile and fast and prefer going in groups or bands like their counterparts.
The animals, however, differ in some respects. Unlike antelopes, bison have a hump on the shoulders, and their fur is coarse and shaggy.
Cattle are large, hooved mammals domesticated for their milk, meat, and hides. Cattle encompasses African, Indian, Western, and European domesticated cattle.
Like goats, cattle are popular examples of animals that resemble antelopes. They all have similar body shapes, with horns and hooves. Cattle are herbivores that chew cud mostly at night, like antelopes, and prefer grazing in herds.
But although they share some physical characteristics, you can tell the difference between cattle and antelope, as the former is larger and adorns a thick coat. The other significant difference is cattle are cloven-hoofed while antelopes are even-toed.
Giraffes are long-necked, hoofed mammals that you are guaranteed to come across when you visit Africa’s game reserves, such as Amboseli National Park in Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. They are the largest of all terrestrial animals and also the world’s tallest ruminants.
Giraffes and antelopes belong to the same family and order. That’s why, besides both living in Africa, they share several physical characteristics, including a tufted tail and even-toed hooves. Also, both animals are herbivores that chew cud at night and are always in herds of about 20 individuals.
The main difference is giraffes are way much taller than antelopes and lack horns, although they have horn-like growths called Ossicones. Giraffes also adorn spotted coats, unlike antelopes with solid fur.
8. Cape Buffalo
One of the world’s most dangerous animals, the cape Buffalo, also called the African Buffalo, is a large, robust mammal that inhabits several regions of Africa. It’s a common sight when on a safari in East Africa.
African Buffaloes and antelopes come from the same family, so you can rightly expect them to share some similarities. Both animals have hollow horns and are even-toed. African Buffaloes also live in Africa, like many species of antelopes. They’re also herbivores that like grazing in herds.
But however similar they are, you can easily recognize cape Buffaloes thanks to their aggressive behaviors and shield-like horns that are strong compared to those of antelopes.
Native to dry parts of the world in Africa, Asia, and the East, camels are large hoofed mammals domesticated for their meat, milk, and wool.
Although these ships of the desert come from different families with antelopes, both animals share the same order. They may not have many physical characteristics, except even-toed hooves, but the animals are similar in other respects.
Both are ruminants, with their diet including grass, leaves, bushes, and sometimes grains. Also, Both animals are social, and you’ll always find them in herds.
However, it’s easy to distinguish camels from antelopes as the former are taller, heavier, and have humps. Camels are also slower than fast-paced antelopes.
Alpacas are domesticated mammals you can only find in marshy, mountainous regions of Southern America. They belong to the same family as camels.
Alpacas share many more physical characteristics with antelopes than many animals on our list. They belong to the order Artiodactyla, are even-toed, and have slender bodies covered with fine fur.
Both have short tails and short, pointed ears on their small heads. What’s more, the animals are herbivores and prefer grazing and browsing in herds. Also, like antelopes, alpacas are friendly and social, although sometimes they can be aggressive.
However, to differentiate alpacas from antelopes, they lack horns, are slower, and are smaller. They’re also from a different family.
Llamas are mammals found in South America, domesticated for their meat, while in Andean culture, they also serve as pack animals. They’re closely related to alpacas as they come from the same family.
Llamas belong to the same order as antelopes and thus share several physical characteristics. They all have slender bodies supported by even-toed hooves, small heads, and pointed ears. They’re both herbivores that you’ll always find in herds.
However, you can distinguish Llamas from antelopes as they lack horns and are not as fast as their counterparts. They also mate differently, with Llamas taking about 45 minutes to copulate.
Takin is a large, heavily built mammal that lives in the Himalayas, preferring the forested valleys. The animal belongs to the family Bovidae and the order Artiodactyla. It’s Bhutan’s national animal.
Takin is similar to the antelope in many ways, apart from sharing the same family and order. Both animals are even-toed and have hollow horns, and are herbivores. Behavioral similarities in the animals include standing on their hind legs when feeding on leaves of higher trees and living in social groups of about 20 individuals.
To distinguish themselves from antelopes, Takins have relatively large heads, and their bodies are covered with a shaggy coat. Their horns are also stout and ridged at the base. Takins are also slower and aggressive, unlike antelopes.
13. Water Buffalo
Not to be confused with African Buffalo, the water Buffalo is a large mammal native to Asia, although it has been introduced in other parts of the world, including Africa and America. Many species of water Buffaloes are domestic animals, although some wild species exist.
Water Buffaloes are similar to antelopes in that they share the same family and order. Not only family and order, but both animals also have hollow horns and short tails. They’re also herbivores and move in herds with water Buffaloes living in about 30 individuals.
The prime difference is water Buffaloes are slower and dwell in waters, unlike antelopes.
Also called the Congolese giraffe, the okapi is a hoofed mammal you can only find in DRC. It is closely related to the giraffe because it comes from the family Giraffidae.
Okapi, however, shares the same order as antelopes, meaning both animals have some similarities. They’re all shy, even-toed, and have upright ears. They’re also herbivores and chew cud when resting.
The main difference is okapi are solitary animals, unlike antelopes.
The pronghorn is a hoofed mammal native to Northern America and is the only living member of Antilocapridae.
The animal resembles antelopes in appearance to deservedly earn its ‘American antelope’ nickname. Like antelopes, pronghorns are even-toed, have horns – which they shed annually – and are herbivores that live in large herds, especially in winter. They’re also among the fastest land animals in the world.