The Arabian Oryx is a rare magnificent animal of Bovidae family. Once assumed extinct, they are now thriving in the deserts of middle east. Explore interesting facts about Arabian Oryx with this article.
Scientific name: Oryx leucoryx
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Weight: 70 Kg (150 lb)
Height: 1 meter
Horn length: 50 – 75 cm
Lifespan: 20 years
Trophic level: Herbivore
It was once extinct
The Arabian Oryx was declared extinct in 1972 when the last Oryx was shot, but in 2011, it made history by getting the “vulnerable” status by the IUCN.
Hunted for their horns
The overhunting of the Arabian Oryx in the 19th and 20th centuries led to their eventual extinctinction in the late 20th century.
Characteristic sharp and long horns
Both the male and female oryx have long, straight or slightly curved, ringed horns which are 50 to 75 cm (20 to 30 in) long.
Found in the middle-east
Arabian Oryx have lived throughout the middle-east ever time immemorial. By the late 20th century, they could only be found in Saudi Arabia, Today, one can find them in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Israel, UAE, Qatar, Syria and Jordan. Their total estimated population is about 1,000.
The Oryx Genus
There are about 3 types of oryces, all found in the Middle-east. These are Scimitar-horned Oryx (Oryx dammah), Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx), East African Oryx (Oryx beisa), Of these, the Arabian Oryx is the smallest.
Preference to harder surfaces
Their natural habitat is desert, but they prefer stone deserts or areas between sand dunes where the sand is harder. This is because it allows them to flee quickly when required.
They can detect rainfall
Arabian orxes can detect rainfall that has fallen miles away from them and move towards it.
Arabian Oryx Diet
They feed primarily on trees, shrubs, grass, leaves and fruits. They can survive for entire week without drinking water because of their ability to extract water from the food they eat.
Groups and family
They live in herds of usually 10 or less than individuals. But this can hugely vary. Some herds or groups might even contain upto 100 oryxes.