A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
The Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), also called the Common Wildebeest, is a large antelope and one of two species of wildebeest. It grows to 115–145 cm shoulder height and attains a body mass of 168–274 kg. It has a beefy muscular front-heavy appearance with a distinctive robust muzzle, it strides with relatively slender legs and moves gracefully and quietly most of the time, belying the reputation for stampeding in herds; however the stampeding characteristic may sometimes be observed.
Blue Wildebeest are found in open and bush-covered savanna in south and east Africa, thriving in areas that are neither too wet nor too arid. They can be found in places that vary from overgrazed areas with dense bush to open woodland floodplains. Wildebeests prefer the bushveld and grasslands of the southern savanna. The terrestrial biome designations for these preferred habitats are savanna, grassland, open forest and scrub forest. Blue Wildebeests can tolerate arid regions, as long as a potable water supply is available. Since all Wildebeests require a long drink every day or two, they must have water within about 15 to 25 km distance. Their blunt muzzles are best equipped for biting short green grasses, since a wide incisor row prevents more selective feeding. Short grasses of these type are usually only found on alkaline or volcanic soils. Blue Wildebeests are a favorite prey item to lions, spotted hyenas, and Nile crocodiles. The latter stalk them at river crossings. The young also fall prey to cheetahs, leopards, and wild dogs.