Difference Between Springbok and Gazelle

Springbok vs Gazelle

Living in the deserts and savannas these two species look much alike with very little differences between them. Ecological niche and features of both springboks and gazelles are much similar, but the distinction of these exceptionally adapted desert dwellers is not impossible given their characters are known. This article tends to clear the differences, and similarities between springbok and gazelles.


Springboks are herbivorous mammals, named “Antidorcas marsupialis” according to the taxonomy (scientific nomenclature). They have medium sized bodies those could grow up to 90 cm tall. A male springbok weighs about 30 – 50 kilograms while the female could be between 25 and 40 kilograms in weight. They are extremely fast runners, and the speed could go up to 90 kilometres per hour. A springbok’s leap while running is about 3.5 metres high and 15 metres long. Their coat has three distinctive and characteristic colours; whiter belly and face, dark brown dorsal coat, and a thick & tanned lateral line between the bases of fore and hind limbs. Horns of male springboks are thicker than those of the females, where they are thin and long. Dry inlands of South and Southwest African countries are the homelands of springboks. Usually, the deserts are not abundant in food plants and water. Despite this scarcity in water and food, springboks are well adapted for a desert life with their food habits, having been able to feed on via both grazing and browsing. Additionally, they are blessed with an ability to extract the water in the food. Thus, springboks can survive without drinking water for more than a year, which is a remarkable adaptation.


Gazelles are of 13 species in three genera but, the taxonomy is still in debate about the number of species and genera. These antelopes (even-toed ungulates) are swift animals with the maximum speed that can go up to 80 kilometres per hour. Their swiftness is used to overrun their predators. Gazelles are know for a very unique behaviour called stotting, where in a situation of a close by predator, they start to move slowly and suddenly leap very high and flee as speedy as possible. Gazelles have different coat colours according to the species. Some of them look much like springboks but, the colours are a little more contrasting, and the faces are browner in gazelles. Their horns are longer, curved, wrinkled, sharply pointed, and thick at the bases. Gazelles live in grasslands and sometimes in the deserts also. Gazelles are found in both Asia and Africa but, there had been some recent extinctions of Red gazelle, Arabian gazelle, and Saudi gazelle. The remaining species are also considered as threatened or near threatened.

In brief:

- Both gazelles and springboks live in deserts and grasslands of Africa and Asia; however, springboks are only in South and Southwest African countries.

- The coat colour is paler in the springbok as an adaptation not to be a prey of a predator.

- Gazelles’ stotting behaviour is a characteristic of them.

- The horns can be used to distinguish these two as they are longer and wrinkled in gazelles.

The habitat destruction and hunting have disturbed these innocent creatures survival.