ARABIAN ORYX

QUICK FACTS

Scientific Name

Oryx leucoryx

Species Survival Plan

Yes

Habitat

Desert

Predators

Man and jackal

Food

Grasses, herbs, tubers and roots

Originally Native To

Arabian Peninsula

Height

36 inches at shoulder

Weight

Male 250 lb.
Female 200 lb.

Characteristics

Antelope with long (2.5 - 3 feet) straight horns for both sexes; tasseled tail

Gestation Period

8 months

Offspring

1 calf

Birth Season

Any month

Lifespan

Wild ?
Captivity 20 years

Social Behavior

Nomadic herd centered on bull; other males solitary

iucn_badge_vulnerable

ABOUT THE ARABIAN ORYX

The oryx is one of the best desert-adapted large mammals, capable of living in a waterless habitat where few other species can survive. They can exist for weeks without water.

Water is obtained by eating plants. Arabian oryx eat mainly at night when the plants are most succulent after absorbing nighttime humidity. During periods of drought, oryx will dig for roots and tubers in order to obtain needed moisture.

They became extinct in the wild in 1972 and were reintroduced in Oman in 1982, followed by reintroductions in Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Arabian oryx in protected areas are generally safe, but those that wander out of the protected areas are in danger of being poached. While there are only about 1,000 animals in the wild, the population is considered stable, hence the IUCN status designation of “Vulnerable” as of 2011.

The Arabian oryx has a white coat with black markings on its face, and its legs are dark brown to black. Its predominantly white coat reflects the sun’s heat in summer, and in winter the hairs on its back rise to attract and catch the sun’s warmth.

They have broad hooves for walking great distances on loose gravel and sand. Lance-like, three-foot long horns are weapons used for defense and fighting.

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ANYTHING YOU GIVE HELPS THE ANIMALS

As a private nonprofit corporation, Fossil Rim does not receive national or state government support. Every cent spent or donated here goes in some way, directly or indirectly, toward the care of our animals.