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Antilope Cervicapra, the blackbuck

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Chapter Summary

The blackbuck or Indian antelope, is a graceful and elegant medium-sized antelope with a shoulder height of about 0.8 m. Ironically, the blackbuck was once the most common ungulate of South Asia. Blackbucks were the most preferred game animal for hunting with cheetahs because of the even terrain; gazelles often occupy undulating terrain which is unfit for the cheetah's burst of speed. Blackbucks are generally depicted in pairs, either flanking the Wheel of the Law (dharmachakra) in illustrations of Buddha’s First Sermon or Jina’s Last Sermon or escaping in a bouncing gallop with turned head. The horns vary greatly, even within the same region and period, from straight to spiralled or gently curved, and are either spirally grooved or smooth. Sculptures depicting the use of a blackbuck skin are very rare; some examples are found in Madhya Pradesh.

Keywords: Blackbucks; Buddha’s first sermon; Madhya Pradesh; wheel of law

10.1163/ej.9789004168190.i-462.18
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004168190.i-462.18
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