Common Eland

Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx)

Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx) bull

The Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx) is a huge species of antelope found in southern and east Africa. Common Eland bulls can weigh up to 942kg, heavier than even a Cape Buffalo!

What does an Eland sound like? Eland bulls also make some interesting non-vocal sounds. While walking, they can emit an unusual clicking noise which sounds like castanets – these clicks are still somewhat of a mystery in terms of what produces them. There are two main theories as to what causes the click. Some researchers suggest the sound is made as a tendon snaps when slipping over the animal’s knee joint. Another theory is that the click is caused by the split hooves splaying and then clapping against each other when the eland raises its leg.

Adult eland bulls have large dewlaps (loose hanging skin) under their neck and chest which makes a distinctive swishing sound as the animal walks.

Also, Common Eland make a sharp alarm bark which is apparently similar to that of the Cape Bushbuck.

Listen to some examples of eland clicking and swishing sounds below.