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Oryx gazella (Okevi).jpg
Oryx gazella
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Hippotraginae
Genus: ''Oryx''

Oryx beisa Rüppell, 1835
Oryx dammah Cretzschmar, 1827
Oryx gazella (Linnaeus, 1758)
Oryx leucoryx Pallas, 1766

The Oryx (also called the sabre antelope) is a fast-running hoofed mammal that lives in dry regions of Africa and Asia (including the Arabian peninsula). They live in steppes (sparse grasslands), semi-deserts, and deserts.


These antelopes congregate in herds of 8 to 60 oryx. Newborn calves can run with the herd within minutes of their birth. Oryxes have a life span of about 20 years. Some people think that the unicorn of legend was based upon the oryx. Many types of oryxes (including the Arabian oryx and the scimitar-horned oryx) are endangered species, mostly because of overhunting and disease.

Diet and Water

The Oryx is an herbivore (a plant-eater). It eats grasses, shrubs and roots, spending most of its time grazing. Oryx are ruminants; they swallow their food without chewing it. After a while, they regurgitate a partly-digested "cud" which they chew and then swallow for the last time. This desert animal can go for weeks without water; it gets much of its water from the plants it eats.

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