The name of these antelopes originates from the way they vanish into undergrowth when alarmed. Duiker, pronounced dike-er, is the Afrikaans word for ‘diver’.
Yellow-backed duikers inhabit dense forest. Pairs usually share a territory, and both sexes may actively fight to defend it. Nocturnal by nature, these antelopes have set places where they rest during the day, usually well-hidden in undergrowth. If frightened, they will erect their yellow crest and utter a warning whistle. They are adept at disappearing into the bush, making them difficult to pursue, although they may be ambushed by predators such as pythons.
Habitat: Occurs in suitable habitat in western and central parts of Africa, from Senegal to the Congo, and south to Zambia, with an isolated population in Kenya.
Weight: 45 - 80 kg (100 - 175 lb).
Length: 126 - 165 cm (50 - 65 in), including tail.
Maturity: Females 9 months - 1 year; males 1 - 1.5 years.
Gestation Period: About 217 days; young are weaned by about 5 months.
Number of Offspring: 1, occasionally 2.
Diet: Herbivorous, grazing on grass, browsing on taller plants, eating fruit, seeds and fungi.
Lifespan: Typically 10 - 12 years.
Present in both sexes, the horns are narrow and pointed, growing to about 20cm (8in) long.
Adults are mainly brownish-black, with a vivid whitish-orange area of hair that can be raised on the back.
Legs are relatively slender, especially compared with the stocky body.
These glands are used by both sexes to scent-mark their territory.
Young are lighter in colour than adults, and the distinctive yellow patch does not develop until they are five months old.