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thumbnail Southern gemsbok in the savannah, Botswana
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Southern gemsbok in the savannah, Botswana © Karine Aigner/Tandem Stills + Motion
Horns up, heads high! Featured here is a group of gemsboks, a large antelope, reigning over the sprawling savannas in southwestern Africa. Indigenous to the arid territories of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and parts of Zimbabwe, they thrive mainly within the Kalahari and Namib Deserts. They can survive in extremely dry conditions and can go without water for weeks, getting moisture from the food they eat. Moreover, gemsboks are adept runners, achieving speeds of up to 37 miles per hour. Their distinguishing trait is their notably elongated, straight horns. Although both genders possess these formidable defenses, the females" horns tend to be slightly longer and sleeker while the males" horns are thicker with broader bases. So, if you ever find yourself in the sandy plains of the Kalahari, keep an eye out for these desert gems.