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Duiker, Yellow-Backed

Duiker, Yellow-Backed

Scientific Name: Cephalophus silvicultor


Status: Endangered


Habitat: Dense lowland forests in western Africa from Guinea eastward to Nigeria


Diet: These browsers eat, fruits, shoots, buds, seeds, and bark. They may also consume small birds, rodents, insects, and carrion.


Height: 2.5 feet at the shoulder


Length: 4 feet


Weight: 99–176 pounds

The yellow-backed duiker is the largest of all duikers. It has a heavy-set body, slender legs, a distinctive triangular yellow patch on its back, and a tail that ends in a tuft of hair. Adults communicate by means of shrill bleats and loud grunts. Their faces are short with rounded or humped bare noses and large scent glands beneath the eyes. They have sharp vision and good senses of hearing and smell. The brain-to-body ratio in this species is higher than any other antelope.

Duikers have a hesitant high-stepping gait and, when alarmed, the yellow-backed duiker whistles a sharp alert before fleeing quickly into the thick underbrush. The word “duiker” comes from Afrikans and means “diver” because of the way these animals dive for cover when threatened.

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