The NY Times reports on those tricky antelopes:
This is a story about deception and sex in the wild plains of Kenya.
Antelope deception, that is, for the purposes of sex.
During mating season, a male topi antelope will try to keep females in heat from leaving his territory by pretending that a predator might be in the area, according to a study that will appear in the July issue of The American Naturalist.When a female appears to be leaving, the male will run in front of her, freeze in place, stare in the direction that she is going and snort loudly. Typically, that snort means that a predatory lion or cheetah was spotted, but in this case the male is faking it.
Anthropomorphizing can be cute, but one could worry this goes too far. However, the original article provides a definition of deceiving that can help a bit:
“acts from the normal repertoire of the agent, deployed such that another individual is likely to misinterpret what the acts signify, to the advantage of the agent”
Still, one wonders why the “other individual” is misinterpreting, and what the misinterpretation amounts to. Presumably, the female antelope’s reaction is appropriate as a reaction to an alarm signal. Perhaps the idea is that she misinterprets his intentions. However, this suggests that she sees other antelopes as minded creatures having intentions, which attributes fairly heavy cognitive machinery to her. Further, since male topi antelopes apparently do this quite a bit, one suspects she will not be surprised at the outcome.
The journal article is free and it contains a number of examples of lies misleading actions by members of various species.