Excerpt: ... heard them make only a deep-toned roar which was by no means loud. Specimens of the larynx which we preserved in formalin are now being prepared for anatomical study. Although the two species inhabit the same locality, they keep well by themselves and only once, on the Panj-kiang plain, did we see them running together in the same ...Read MoreExcerpt: ... heard them make only a deep-toned roar which was by no means loud. Specimens of the larynx which we preserved in formalin are now being prepared for anatomical study. Although the two species inhabit the same locality, they keep well by themselves and only once, on the Panj-kiang plain, did we see them running together in the same herd; then it was probably because they were frightened by the car. I doubt if they ever interbreed except in rare instances. The fact that these animals can develop such an extraordinary speed was a great surprise to me, as undoubtedly it will be to most naturalists. Had we not been able to determine it accurately by means of the speedometers on our cars, I should never have dared state that they could reach fifty-five or sixty miles an hour. It must be remembered that the animals can continue at such a high speed only for a short distance-perhaps half a mile-and will never exert themselves to the utmost unless they are thoroughly frightened. They would run just fast enough to keep well away from the cars or our horses, and it was only when we began to shoot that they showed what they were capable of doing. When the bullets began to scatter about them they would seem to flatten several inches and run at such a terrific speed that their legs appeared only as a blur. Of course, they have developed their fleetness as a protection from enemies. Their greatest menace is the wolves, but since we demonstrated that these animals cannot travel faster than about thirty miles an hour, the antelope are perfectly safe unless they happen to be caught off their guard. To prevent just this, the gazelles usually keep well out on the open plains and avoid rocks or abrupt hills which would furnish cover for a wolf. Of course, they often go into the rolling ground, but it is usually where the slopes are gradual and where they have sufficient space in which to protect themselves. The gazelles have a perfectly smooth, even run when going...Read Less
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