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Nevertheless, some fall prey to large carnivores, especially the spotted hyena.Wildebeest often graze in mixed herds with zebra which gives heightened awareness of potential predators.The wildebeest, or the genus Connochaetes, is placed under the family Bovidae and subfamily Alcelaphinae, where its closest relatives are the hartebeest (Alcelaphus spp.), the hirola (Beatragus hunteri) and species in the genus Damaliscus, such as the topi, the tsessebe, the blesbok and the bontebok.Wildebeest were first discovered about 1700 by Dutch settlers on their way to the interior of South Africa.In East Africa, the blue wildebeest is the most abundant big game species; some populations perform an annual migration to new grazing grounds, but the black wildebeest is merely nomadic.Breeding in both takes place over a short period of time at the end of the rainy season and the calves are soon active and are able to move with the herd, a fact necessary for their survival.The most striking morphological differences between the black and blue wildebeest are the orientation and curvature of their horns and the color of their coats.The blue wildebeest is the bigger of the two species.
Another study reported an increase in the size of the hybrid as compared to either of its parents.
In males, blue wildebeest stand 150 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh around 250 kg, while the black wildebeest stands 111 to 120 cm tall and weighs about 180 kg.
In females, blue wildebeest have a shoulder height of 135 cm and weigh 180 kg while black wildebeest females stand 108 cm at the shoulder and weigh 155 kg.
Males are larger than females and both have heavy forequarters compared to their hindquarters.
They have broad muzzles, Roman noses, shaggy manes and tails.