Gnu, or Wildebeest, an African antelope. An adult gnu stands about four feet (1.2 m) high at the shoulder and weighs 300 to 500 pounds (135 to 225 kg). Both males and females have two large, heavy, U-shaped horns. Like other ruminants (cudchewing animals), gnus have cloven hooves. Gnus travel in herds of 5 to 15 animals. They inhabit open grassland, feeding on grass and leaves.
The white-tailed gnu, or black wildebeest, is brownish-black with tufts of long, black hair on the muzzle and throat and between the forelegs. It was hunted to near extinction for its pelt and tail (used as a fly whisk) but is now protected on several reserves in southwestern Africa. The slightly larger brindled gnu (also called the blue wildebeest and white-bearded wildebeest) has a dark face, mane, and tail. The body color is brindle (grayish-silver with brown bands). The brindled gnu is native to central and southeastern Africa and is not endangered.
The white-tailed gnu is Connochaetes gnou; the brindled gnu is C. taurinus. Both belong to the family Bovidae.