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Kirk’s Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii)

Posted on Jul 8, 2007 by in Ungulates | 2 comments

Madoqua kirkii
Number 0034

Ramona requested a dik-dik drawing, and I believe Carlos did, too. Dik-diks are the world’s smallest antelopes. There are several species of them; this one was named for Sir John Kirk, a 19th-century British diplomat in Zanzibar. The dik-dik part of the name is an onomatopoetic word for the animal’s whistle of fear. Dik-diks, which top out at 12 or 13 pounds and live in arid African bush country, remind me of Italian greyhounds.


  1. Actually, the royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus) is the world’s smallest horned ungulate, toppping out at 1.4-2.8kg, and a shoulder height of 20-28cm (Stuart and Stuart, 2000). But, props nonetheless for calling attention to a dik-dik. And a lovely drawing besides.


  2. Rats, it seems Mammals: Their Latin Names Explained led me astray! Thanks for the correction, Katie. I look forward to drawing the royal antelope someday.

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