The saiga is a funny-looking medium-sized antelope. The most distinguishing feature of a saiga is its weird-looking nose that hangs over its mouth. The population of Saiga antelopes is concentrated in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and southwestern Russia.
Adult saigas stand between 24 and 32 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 68 and 95 pounds. The head-and-body length of saiga is about 39 to 55 inches.
Other than their unusual appearance, below are some of the fascinating facts about saigas that you should know.
- The saiga’s lifespan in the wild is up to 12 years.
- The saiga’s coat is thick and whitish in winter and short and pale brown in summer.
- Male saigas have long, waxy-colored horns having ring-like ridges along their length.
- Saigas have a poorly developed sense of hearing, but their sight is acute. They can spot danger up to 0.6 miles away.
- Saigas can run about 50 miles per hour.
- Saigas graze and go to water points during the day. Before they rest at night-time, Saigas dig small circular holes in the soil that serve as their beds.
- Saigas can move for long distances and swim across rivers. However, they usually avoid rugged or steep areas.
- A newborn saiga can outrun a human by its second day of life.
- In normal seasons, saigas form herds of between 30 and 50 animals. During the migration seasons, tens of thousands of saigas travel together. This migration forms part of one of the most spectacular migrations globally.
- Saigas are a polygamous species. They congregate into groups of between 5 and 10 females and one male during the breeding season. Male saigas are protective of their harem.