Saloa are large animals, measuring around 150 cm and weighing in between 80 and 100 kg. Although not reported for soala, sexual dimorphism is common in bovids, and may occur in this species.
Both males and female saola have horns that are probably used for protection against predators. The common name, saola, means "spinning wheel posts" in the local language. This name was probably given to the species because of the way the horns resemble tapered posts of a spinning wheel.
These animals have brown noses. The pelage consists of different shades of brown. Some have white patches on the side of neck. A black stripe extends from the shoulders to the lower back. The underside of is a lighter shade of brown than the upper body. The tail is striped, with brown, black, and cream colors. The rump is marked by a cream colored band which extends horizontally from the top of one hind leg to the other. White bands encircle the lower leg, just above the hooves. The face has white patches that conceal small dermal nodules that may be scent glands. Saola have possibly the largest maxillary glands of any living mammal.
Range mass: 80 to 100 kg.
Average length: 150 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike