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On top of the rock

On top of the rock
Photo Information
Copyright: Vivian Droog (viv) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-03
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Konika Minolta Dynax 7D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Soligor UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger a palette of Eden, they say.
Date Submitted: 2008-05-15 16:16
Viewed: 3731
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
If you know where to look, chances are good that you might see klipspringer on safari. You won't get a picture of one slipping on the rocks though, for their hooves were especially designed for a "hard" life...

Thanks for looking

The Klipspringer (Afrikaans for "rock jumper") is only about twenty-two inches high at the shoulder, and weighs approximately forty pounds. Stocky and powerful, yet extremely agile, this shy and nervous antelope is unique. The male has delicate little horns about four to six inches long. Its ears are actually longer than its horns.

Its coat is thick, dense and hard, with a speckled "salt and pepper" pattern of an almost olive shade. The coat harmonizes with the background of rocks. Its eyes are large and widely spaced, and its nose is short and wedge-shaped.

All hoofed animals walk "on the tips of their toes." Among these the klipspringer is the only one to touch the ground with only the very tips of its vertically rising hooves. Translated into human terms, this would mean that a dancer would dance on the tips of her toe nails rather than the tips of her toes. The hoof tips, though blunt, are also quite narrow and hard-edged and thus dig into loose surfaces. A klipspringer's gait is also said to increase friction with the rocky surfaces, thereby providing better footing up or down vertical cliffs.


The best places to look for klipspringers are the kopjes of the savannas, rocky prominences that jut up from the plains, islands of stone anchored in seas of grass. Its home is in Africa, from the Cape region in the south up through eastern Africa to Abyssinia.


Klipspringers are strictly monogamous, and are usually seen within a few feet of their mate. The basic pair behavior relative to predators is that, while one klipspringer eats, the other acts as a lookout. Males are strongly territorial, and it's territorial dominance extends over five to ten acres.

Klipspringers love to nibble the secretion from each other's face, which in both sexes exudes from the pre-orbital glands and dries up quickly. Both males and females also mark with it. The klipspringer is as surefooted as a mountain goat, and when it is pursued it leaps from crag to crag and seems to bound up the side of a steep cliff as if it were flying.

When the klipspringer is standing still, it brings its front and hind legs together in one spot, which is rather unique in horned ungulates. Also, the klipspringer is the only horned ungulate, when lying down, that can stretch both front legs forward and parallel to each other. This occurs only in goats which are not closely related to it.

The klipspringer's alarm call is a loud whistling through the nose. When they are fearful and distressed they make roaring sounds with their mouths open. During mating, the males hum briefly and softly.


The Klipspringer eats rock plants, especially succulents. It never drinks water, but absorbs what liquid is necessary by eating succulent leaves or by licking up the dew in the early morning.


Wild klipspringers are found mostly in pairs, although occasionally there are singles. The mating season is probably an extended one, but most of the young appear to be born from September through January. The gestation period is about 214 days.

vanderschelden, marhowie, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Vivian,
Wederom goed gedaan.
Niet zo makkelijk om ze te spotten. Ik heb ze één keer gezien, een paar dus:-).
Zijn habitat is goed aanwezig en de focus is er zeker..

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-15 23:18]

Hi Viv

Greetings from A Dhabi

A lovely pose with nice colour and great detail. Well observed and captured.

I have seen these many times - but never as close as this!


  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-05-16 0:04]

Ha Vivian,

Een leuke natuurlijke opname van deze kleine klipspringer,goede focus en belichting,


Hello Vivian. Very sharp image looking good in natural habitat. I like the pose of this very well exposed image. Well done and best regards. Jusni

bonjour vivian
voila un sujet que nous ne sommes pas abitué a voir,la netteté est tres bonne avec d'excellent details dans le pelage,l'atitude de l'aimal est aussi en grande partie le point fort de l'image.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-05-16 10:19]

Hallo Vivian,
Prachtige opname van deze Klipspringer. Een unieke kans, want je ziet ze niet vaak zo dichtbij. Goede scherpte in een mooie natuurlijke omgeving.
Goed weekend,

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-05-18 12:04]

Hi Vivian

What a beauty! I love the pose and the way you have caught the klipspringer in the lovely setting. Wonderfully composed



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