The eland is also commonly known as the southern eland or the eland antelope. It is the second largest antelope species in the world, being only slightly smaller on average than the giant eland.
Elands form herds of up to 500 animals, but are not territorial.
The coat and markings of elands vary by geographical area with elands in north Africa having distinctive markings (torso stripes, markings on legs, dark garters and a spinal crest) that are absent in elands who live in the south. Their coat is smooth except for a rough mane. Females have a tan coat, while the coats of males are darker, with a bluish-grey tinge. Bulls may also have a series of vertical white stripes on their sides. As males age, their coat becomes more grey. Males also have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap on their throats.
Common elands are herbivores that browse during drier winter months but have also adapted to grazing during the rainy season when grasses are more common. They require a high-protein diet of succulent leaves from flowering plants but will consume lower quality plant material if available including forbs, trees, shrubs, grasses, seeds and tubers.