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African Oryx

The African Oryx

The Oryx is an antelope that is endemic to Africa. Of the four different varieties, three live in Africa. The Oryx stands about a meter tall at the shoulder and is tan, gray and white. It has a grayish coat that is white on the underbelly. The oryx may have a mane that is small and fringed, chestnut to brown in color. The horns are ringed, very long and straight. The Orynx can weigh up to 200 pounds.

Where the Oryx is Found.

The Oryx lives in the semi desert and the steppes. They migrate in order to be able to graze on grass and other plant materials. The oryx stores water by raising their body temperature so that they do not perspire. They live in herds of about 5 to forty animals and the females often lead with a large male or two gathering at the foot or the rear of the group as a protection measure.

Food for the Oryx

The Oryx eats plant materials. Primarily they eat grass, leaves, buds from trees as well as fruit. They migrate along a long route and may travel many miles in order to be able to find the food that they need. This is particularly true in the dry season. They subsidize the foods that are available with fruit and other items when their grass and vegetation is not available and oryx have even been seen standing on their back legs to pull vegetation from the trees.

Breeding and Childbirth

Breeding takes place all year around although most young antelopes are born during the dry season. Males make a territory from which they try to control the females and they prevent other males from breeding when they can. This is only partly successful so the males that are not the dominant male may breed with the females. Most of the females will give birth to one calf after being pregnant for about 9 months. At birth the calves weigh between 20 and 25 pounds. They are mature at about 2 years of age and can begin breeding. The Oryx have been recorded to live up to 15-18 years when they are in the wild, despite many predators which hunt them and they can live up to 20 years in captivity.

Most Oryx are in no danger of extinction in any way. They are classified as a species of least concern by the Red List.