Annotated photos of impalas and other bovids mislabelled as impalas on the Web

There are tens of thousands of photos labelled as impalas (Aepyceros) on the Web.

I spent today trawling through them, with two search-images.

Firstly, I sought photos particularly illustrative of various features of adaptive colouration.

Secondly, I sought the valuable photos among those of other bovids mislabelled as impalas or in other ways - of which there are thousands in their own right. These photos have been effectively 'buried' in the electronic record, but here I bring some of them back out into the light.

The following shows the VERTICALLY-PILOERECTED CAUDAL FLAG in Aepyceros melampus. The shape formed by the white hairs of the tail is similar to that of a butcher's cleaver. Unlike other ruminants, A. melampus possesses not a tassel but instead a jointed feather-tassel. The joint defines the right-angle distally, and the metaphorical blade of the cleaver is formed by piloerection perpendicular to the lateral plane:

The following shows how completely the jointed feather-tassel of A. melampus can remain hidden (by a lack of piloerection), even when the tail is untucked:

The following shows the PENICILLATE CAUDAL FLAG in Aepyceros melampus. The distal joint in the jointed feather-tassel is open, without any other piloerection. In this case, the behaviour being flagged is micturition in adult males:

The following show the PEDAL FLAG of Aepyceros melampus particularly clearly. A main point to note is that, although impalas have distinct, complex, and subtle colouration, it is the pallor on the pasterns that advertise the figures:

Posted on February 02, 2024 01:48 PM by milewski milewski


Then following - like thousands of other photos - shows that the tail normally remains hidden (tucked) when Aepyceros flees:

However, there is often an initial flick of the tail, as the animal begins to run:

Posted by milewski 6 months ago

Raphicerus campestris neumanni, showing the hiding of an ear pinna in mild alarm:

Posted by milewski 6 months ago

Posted by milewski 6 months ago

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