White-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus).—Leonard Lee Rue III
Either of two species of African antelope (genus Connochaetes). The gnu stands higher at the shoulder than at the rump, reaching a shoulder height of 3–4 ft (1–1.3 m). The southern African form, the white-tailed gnu, or black wildebeest, is dark brown with long black tufts on the snout, chin, throat, and chest, and a black mane and flowing white tail. Today it exists only in national parks and preserves. The brindled gnu, or blue wildebeest, is reasonably abundant over much of central and South Africa. It is silvery gray with dark vertical bands on the sides and has a black mane, tail, and face, whitish cheeks, and a tuft of dark hair on chin and throat. Both sexes of both species have horns. Gnu live in often large, constantly moving herds and graze on the grasses and scrub of open plains.