Cute dik-dik

Photo: Sergey Yeliseev/Flickr

Miniature deer takes Internet by storm

Move over, hedgehogs! Dik-diks are assuming their rightful place as one of the most adorable animals on the planet.

Named for the warning calls they emit when they are frightened or disturbed, dik-diks are tiny herbivorous antelopes that hail from the shrublands and savannas of eastern Africa. When encountering predators, dik-diks prefer to hide rather than run, so their grassy habitat allows for ample cover to escape.

In addition to their miniature size, dik-diks are also known for their monogamy — an evolutionary trait developed in response to predation, which is more likely to occur while exploring and looking for new partners. Other traits that help them avoid predation include highly advanced sight, scent and hearing.

Their unusual snout is an extremely efficient cooling mechanism that keeps them from overheating, even in temperatures up to 104 degrees. This adaptation makes them water independent — they get all of their necessary hydration from the plants they eat.

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Dik-dik close up

Photo: bobascott/Shutterstock

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Dik-diks eating

Photo: Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

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Dik-dik leg

Photo: Michael Wick/Shutterstock

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Dik-dik resting in the grass

Photo: Sergey Yeliseev/Flickr

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Dik-dik portrait

Photo: DavidDennisPhotos.com/Flickr

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Dik-dik stands in red landscape

Photo: Aviantic/Flickr

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Dik-dik imitating a meerkat

Photo: Sue Green/Shutterstock

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Dik-dik rests in the grass

Photo: Stig Nygaard/Flickr

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