Wildebeest are commonly mistaken as “wilderbeast”, a mistake that is borne from how the mammal’s name is spelled.
But as commonly misspelled as its name is, the popularity of the wildebeest is one that mirrors with the lions of Africa, given the fact that they are among the lion’s well documented preferred types of prey.
Also referred to as the gnu, the wildebeest is a hoofed and horned mammal of the antelope genus, one that bears a resemblance with antelopes, only built larger making them look more like “slimmer sized” cows. Growing as large as 4 feet in length, the wildebeest’s lifespan is documented to cover 40 years, though the average wildebeest lives as long as 20 years.
The wildebeest takes it name from the Dutch wild beast, and is known to generally populate two wildebeest types, the black and the blue wildebeest.
Between the two, it is the blue wildebeest that is said to have stayed true to its genetic origins, with the black showing evident sings of evolutionary adaptations. Though the blue wildebeest is not exactly blue in color, its coat is more grayish in hue, while the black wildebeest bears a more brown-toned coat.
In terms of size, blue wildebeests are known to be bigger than the black variety, and as physical differences come, the striped coat patterns and the horn shapes of the two types are also different from each other.
Being one of the lion’s often preyed upon species, the wildebeest has somewhat taken a popular position in the animal kingdom, oftentimes paired with zebras, who are also among the species preyed upon by lions.