SABLE ANTELOPE, the English name for a large and handsome South African antelope (Hippolragus niger), exhibiting the rare feature of blackness or dark colour in both sexes. The sable and the roan antelope (H. equinus) belong to a genus nearly related to the oryxes, with which they form a group or subfamily. In all these antelopes long cylindrical horns are present in both sexes; the muzzle is hairy; there is no gland below the eye; the tail is long and tufted; and in the breadth of their tall crowns the upper molar-teeth resemble those of the oxen. The sable and roan antelopes are distinguished from Oryx by the stout and thickly ringed horns rising vertically from a ridge over the eyes at an obtuse angle to the plane of the lower part of the face, and then sweeping backwards in a bold curve. Sable antelope are among the handsomest of South African antelopes, and are endowed with great speed and staying power. They are commonly met with in herds including from ten to twenty individuals, but on rare occasions as many as fifty have been seen together. Forest-clad highlands are their favourite resorts. The roan antelope is a larger animal, with shorter horns, whose general colour in both sexes is strawberry-roan. It is typically a South African species, but is represented by a local race in the eastern Sudan (H. equinus bakeri) distinguished by its redder colour and different face-makings.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)