Scientific Name: Oryx gazella
Size: 47 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 250 to 390 pounds
Lifespan: 20 years
Habitat: Dry plains
What does a Oryx look like?
Kenya's Tana River divides the range of East Africa's two types of oryx the beisa oryx
(Oryx gazella beisa) and the fringe-eared oryx (Oryx g. callotis). The fringe-eared oryx ranges from Kenya to central Tanzania. The beisa oryx ranges from Ethiopia through Somalia into northeastern Uganda and Kenya.
The oryx, a large antelope with long, spear-like horns, is a true desert animal. It has a thick, horse-like neck with a short mane and a compact, muscular body. A defined pattern of black markings that contrast with the white face and fawn-colored body are prominently displayed in dominance rituals to emphasize the length of horns and strength of the shoulder.
Where does the Oryx live?
Originally, various oryx species were found in all of Africa's arid regions. One species that occurred on the Arabian Peninsula was exterminated recently but has now been reintroduced into the wild from captive stock. Well adapted to the conditions of their hot, arid habitats, oryx can live as long as 20 years.
What does a Oryx eat?
Oryx typically feed in early morning and late afternoon. Their diet mainly consists of coarse grasses and browse from thorny shrubs. In desert areas they consume thick leaved plants, wild melons, and roots and tubers they dig out of the ground. Plants collect dew, which is gradually released during the hotter parts of the day. Some plants increase their water content by 25 to 40 percent, so when oryx feed late at night or early in the morning, they maximize both food and water sources.
Did You Know this about the oryx?
The oryx is a good example of an antelope that has successfully adapted to the harsh conditions of dispersed food, intense heat and little or no water.
The female comes into heat soon after giving birth. The more frequent estrus cycles enable females to produce calves at 9-month intervals.
Download free Oryx wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Oryx Coloring pages
Print free Oryx coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.