Upper parts are yellow speckled with brown; bright yellow speckled with black. Colour varies with locality. The under parts are white. The body is stocky and the legs short with small hooves. The hooves have rubbery centres and hard rims to provide good purchase on rocks. The tail is very short. The hairs of the coat are short, flattened, springy and harsh, providing protection from rocks and insulation from heat and cold. The muzzle is short and sharply tapered. Large black patches just in front of the eyes mark the openings of the preorbital glands. Only males bear horns, rising from above the eyes, short and with a slight forward curve, ridged on the bottom third and smooth towards the tips. Average total length males 86cm and females 90cm, tail 8cm, shoulder height 60cm. Average weight males 10,6kg and females 13,2 kg.
Confined to rocky areas. Sometimes moves out onto flatter areas to feed.
Lives in male-female pairs with young of the year; occasionally a male with two females. Active for short periods during the day, and for at least part of the night. Shelters from both heat and cold by lying down among rocks or in of bushes. Pairs stay close together and follow each other around; they are bonded by grooming. Strictly territorial, and very faithful to the territory. Males advertise occupation of territory by standing on rocks for long periods. Territories are marked with large dung middens and on twigs and stiff grass stems with black, sticky preorbital gland secretion which has a sharp tarry smell. Both sexes mark but males mark more than females Males usually over-mark female marks. Males horn bushes. Fights over territory are fierce but rare. Intruders give ground as soon as confronted by a resident. Klipspringer (Afrikaans for rock jumper) are very agile and surefooted on rocks. They are able to outpace any ground predator over rocky ground. The hard edges of the hooves provide excellent grip, and the tiptoe stance allows klipspringers to stand on small areas.
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