Critter Science

The Science of Animals

oryx

Behold the Oryx

There are four species of oryx living in Africa and also the middle east. They’re a large antelope species with long, spear-like horns. The Gemsbok (Oryx gazella) is the largest of the oryx species. They live in dry, arid or semiarid areas such as deserts, savannas, and steppes.

First the Stats…

Scientific name: Oryx gazella
Weight: Up to 530 lbs.
Height: Up to 50 inches at the shoulder
Lifespan: Up to 15 years (in the wild) | Up to 22 years (in captivity)

Now on to the Facts!

1.) Oryx are territorial creatures that use their horns to establish dominance in the herd. The dominant male uses dung to mark their territory.

2.) During the rainy season, they can be found in herds of over 300 individuals. During the dry season they live in smaller herds of approximately 30.

3.) They have a unique ability of rising their body temperature to prevent perspiration and loss of bodily fluids during the day.

4.) These critters also utilize a network of capillaries in the nose to cool down the blood flow to the brain. This cooling of the blood prevents over-heating.

5.) With their excellent sense of smell, they can detect rainfall up to 50 miles away!

But wait, there’s more on the oryx!

6.) When faced with predators, they will position themselves sideways in a sort of wagon train formation to appear larger. If this fails to do the trick, they have very formidable horns they can use to gore their attacker(s).

7.) Lions, wild dogs, and hyenas are the primary predators.

Did you know…?
The oryx can run up to 37 mph!

8.) Pregnancy lasts 8.5 months. The calf can run as soon as it is born, however it will stay hidden in the tall grass for the first couple of weeks.

9.) They are herbivorous (eat plant matter).

10.) Their numbers exceed 373,000!

Now a Short Oryx Video!

Learn more about all kinds of cool critters here.

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Critter Man

With over 41 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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