W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running!” – African proverb

When the male Springbok (a South African antelope – Antidorcas marsupialis) 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 floral scent of sweat. This ritual is known as “pronking” comes from the Afrikaans, meaning to boast or “strut” and is a cognate of the English verb “prance.” Also known as ‘stotting’.

This behaviour is rather fool-hardy, as stotting reduces the lead distance and speed of the pursued animal, and thus makes it easier for the predator to catch. This apparently maladaptive behaviour may signal to the predator or potential mates its comparative fitness as a form of boasting or taunting, and so therefore may be an evolutionarily selected behaviour or anti-predator adaptation.

  1. 14th August 2013 – FEATURED in Wild Africa

Tags

animals, wildlife, africa, buck, antelope, springbok, springbuck, pronking, watercolour, watercolor, maree clarkson, tarlton, magaliesburg, krugersdorp, gauteng, south africa, kruger park, nature, earth, african

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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Comments

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 1 year ago

    “Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.” I love these words…. your gazelle looks lovely Maree!

  • Thank you Liz!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 1 year ago

    Wow! I’d follow him!! Love the word ‘pronking’… much more visual than mere ‘prancing’. Wonderful work, Maree.

  • Pleased you like it Sheila and thank you for the fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Macky
    Mackyabout 1 year ago

  • This is great Macky! Thank you for the feature, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • IngridSonja
    IngridSonjaabout 1 year ago

    Super work…congrats on your feature!

  • Thanks a lot Ingrid!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Sunflower3
    Sunflower38 months ago

    Love the movement.

  • Thank you Sunflower!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Navigator
    Navigator8 months ago

    This is downright lyrical! A painted poem! Lovely!

  • Thanks ever so much Brenda, appreciate that fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • TONYARTIST
    TONYARTIST6 months ago

    Awesome Maree, love the way you painted this and captured the movement, by the way I agree after reading your profile ’ art should be a passion and fun’..that hits home with me, Tony

  • Aaaah, thanks ever so much for your beautiful comment Tony and I appreciate the fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • TONYARTIST
    TONYARTIST6 months ago

    Very welcome Maree . Tony

  • John Moore
    John Moore6 months ago

    My, you really have put the spring into bok

  • He he! Thank you John, also for the fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • rosie320d
    rosie320dabout 1 month ago

    Lovely movement :-)

  • Thanks a lot Rosie!

    – Maree Clarkson

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