Physiology of the dik-dik antelope.
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1. The East African dik-dik antelope represents a miniature model ruminant for comparative studies. 2. Dik-diks are browsers, consuming a diet consistently high in fermentable and digestable plant material. 3. Their foregut structure is designed for a relatively rapid passage of food and effective absorption of fermentative products. 4. Dik-dik antelopes are very economical in their use of water, having a low daily water exchange and excreting a highly concentrated urine. 5. Dik-diks have been observed to employ three thermoregulatory mechanisms; thermopanting, active sweating and a labile body temperature. 6. Their reproductive cycle is polyestrous with peak breeding in June and December, having a gestation period of between 170 and 174 days.