The Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx), also known as the Southern Eland, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. Common Eland live on the savannah and eat grass, branches and leaves. They are diurnal but tend towards inactivity during the heat of the day. Herds are usually between thirty and eighty individuals but are known to reach upwards of four hundred. The Common Eland has an unusual social life. They come and go, taking advantage of herd life when they need to without forming close ties.
The Common Eland stands around 80 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 600 and 2200 pounds. Females can be sometimes less than half the weight of adult males. Common Eland females have a tan coat, while the males’ coat is a darker tan with a blue tinge to it. There may be a single white stripe vertically placed on the sides. The males have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap. Both sexes have horns, which are about 26 inches long and almost straight. The horns of the female are longer but thinner than those of the male.
Common Elands are very agile and can easily jump a 5 foot fence from a standing start. The main predators of the Eland are predominantly Lions and African Wild Dogs. Common Eland are sometimes considered part of the genus Tragelaphus, but it is usually categorized as Taurotragus with the Giant Eland. Both, the Common and Giant Eland, are among the largest antelopes in the world.