The wildebeest, also called the gnu, is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. It is a hooved (ungulate) mammal. Wildebeest is Dutch for 'wild beast' or 'wild cattle' in Afrikaans (beest = cattle). The name 'gnu' originates from the Khoikhoi name for these animals, gnou. Gnus belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, and other even-toed horned ungulates. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the black wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu (C. gnou), and the blue wildebeest, or brindled gnu (C. taurinus). Fossil records suggest these two species diverged about one million years ago, resulting in northern and southern species. The blue wildebeest changed very little from the ancestor species, while the black wildebeest took on more morphological changes to adapt to a habitat of open grassland in the south.
Contributions by Covalent, 18.104.22.168, and Gnusmas.