Springbok taking refuge from the midday heat in Etosha National Park in the north of Namibia, Southern Africa.
The springbok (Afrikaans and Dutch: spring = jump; bok = antelope or goat) (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a medium-sized brown and white gazelle of southwestern Africa. It stands about 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) high. Springbok males weigh between 32 and 48 kg (71 and 110 lb) and the females between 25 and 35 kg (55 and 77 lb). They can reach running speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph) and can leap 4 m (13 feet) into the air and jump a horizontal distance of up to 15 m (50 feet).
The specific epithet marsupialis (Latin: marsupium, “pocket”) derives from a pocket-like skin flap which extends along the middle of the back from the tail onwards. When the male springbok is showing off his strength to attract a mate, or to ward off predators, he starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a conspicuous fan shape, which in turn emits a strong scent of sweat. This ritual is known as pronking from the Afrikaans meaning to boast or show off.