AskDefine | Define kudu

Dictionary Definition

kudu n : either of two spiral-horned antelopes of the African bush [syn: koodoo, koudou]

User Contributed Dictionary



Nama kudu-b.


  1. A large, striped, African antelope of the species Tragelaphus imberbis (the lesser kudu) or Tragelaphus strepsiceros (the greater kudu).

Alternative spellings




  1. spawn

Extensive Definition

For the jazz record label, see CTI Records
Kudu is an alternate spelling for kuzu, the Japanese word for the plant kudzu.
The kudus are two species of antelope:


The name of the animal was imported into English in the 18th century from isiXhosa iqudu, via Afrikaans koedoe.


Lesser Kudus come from the savannas near acacia and commiphora shrubs. They have to rely on thickets for protection, so they are hardly ever seen in the open.


Like many other antelopes, male kudus can be found in bachelor groups, but they are more likely to be widespread. Males do not have great long shows for dominance it is usually quick and peaceful, because one male will give the most lateral show and stand up front and make himself look big. Males only are seen with females in the mating season, and they'll only be in groups of 6-10 with their offspring. Calves grow very quickly and at six months are fairly independent of their mothers.
  • When pregnant the female will leave the herd and give birth. They will leave the newborn lying out for 4-5 weeks the longest period of any antelope. Then the calf will start meeting its mother for short periods in times. At 3 or 4 months will be with her constantly. And at about 6 months they will join the group.


Kudus are browsers and eat leaves and shoots. In dry seasons, they eat wild watermelons and other fruit for the liquid they provide. The lesser Kudu is less dependent on water sources than the greater kudu.

Predators and threats

Many predators, such as big cats, wild dogs, hyenas, eagles and pythons hunt kudu and their young. Kudu numbers are also affected by humans hunting them for their meat, hides and horns, or using their habitats for charcoal burning and farming. Kudus are highly susceptible to the rinderpest virus, and many scientists think recurring epidemics of the disease have reduced kudu populations in East Africa.

Use in music

A kudu horn is a musical instrument made from the horn of the kudu antelope. A form of it is sometimes used as a shofar in Jewish ceremonies. It is mostly seen in the Western world in its use as a part of the Scouting movement's Wood Badge training program which, when blown, signals the start of a Wood Badge training course or activity.
kudu in Italian: Kudu
kudu in Dutch: Koedoe
kudu in Simple English: Kudu
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