This large mammal moves around in herds of 5 to 35 animals consisting of females and their young, and a single male that defends the herd from other males (2). Roan antelope do not have fixed territories, so the dominant male excludes other males from a 500 metre radius around the herd (3). If the dominant male encounters another adult male a violent interaction may sometimes ensue; they strut proudly around in circles before running forward, dropping to their knees and clashing their enormous horns ferociously together (2).
Roan antelope graze on medium to tall grasses (3) (4), occasionally also feeding on shrubs, herbs and the pods of Acacia trees. They drink regularly, thus can only inhabit areas with easy access to water (2). Breeding can occur at any time throughout the year, but births are rarer in the dry season. Gestation lasts for around 280 days and the female gives birth to her calf in a secluded area. While the mother returns to the herd within one week, the young remains in hiding until old enough to keep up with the herd (2), with the mother returning to the calf to suckle in the early morning and late afternoon (4). Females reach sexual maturity at about two years of age; males are not sexually mature until three years (2), when they are forcibly evicted from the herd by the dominant male (3). For the next three years the young male will live in a bachelor herd with up to ten others, before winning the position as dominant male in a female herd. Roan antelope are known to live for up to 17 years (2).