Arabian Oryx

Arabian Oryx

The Arabian Oryx or White Oryx is a medium-sized antelope with a distinct shoulder bump, long, straight horns, and a tufted tail and native to desert and steppe areas of the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian Oryx was extinct in the wild by the early 1970s, but was saved in zoos and private preserves, and was reintroduced into the wild starting in 1980. The Arabian Oryx is the national animal of Jordan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

In 1986, the Arabian Oryx was classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List, and in 2011, it was the first animal to revert to vulnerable status after previously being listed as extinct in the wild.

An Arabian Oryx stands about 1 m high at the shoulder and weighs around 70 kg. Its coat is an almost luminous white, the undersides and legs are brown, and black stripes occur where the head meet the neck, on the forehead, on the nose, and going from the horn down across the eye to the mouth. Both sexes have long, straight or slightly curved, ringed horns which are 50 to 75 cm long.

Arabian Oryx rest during the heat of the day and can detect rainfall and move towards it, meaning they have huge ranges; a herd in Oman can range over 3000 sq.km. Herds are of mixed sex and usually contain between 2 – 15 animals, though herds up to 100 have been reported. Arabian Oryx are generally not aggressive toward one another, which allow herds to exist peacefully for some time.

Other than humans, wolves are the Arabian Oryx’s only predator.

he diets of the Arabian Oryx consist mainly of grasses, but they eat a large variety of vegetation, include buds, herbs, fruit, tubers and roots. Herds of Arabian Oryx follow infrequent rains to eat the new plants that grow afterward. They can go several weeks without water.

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