15 Awesome Oryx Facts for Kids

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Oryxes are an antelope species. Oryx is a genus that has four unique species. Although one species has been extinct in the wild due to rampant hunting, a few individuals remain living in captivity (such as zoo). Oryxes are found across eastern and southern Africa, as well as in the Sultanate of Oman and Jordan. They are found in dry, arid, or semiarid habitats such as deserts, savannas, and steppes.

Oryx Facts of Interest:

1. Oryx is a large antelope species. It measures between 5 and 7 feet in length, has a shoulder height of 18 to 35 inches, and weighs between 220 and 450 pounds. The dimensions vary according to species.

2. Oryx are easily identified by their white heads covered in triangular black patches, their horse-like necks with manes, and their long V-shaped horns that may be straight or swept back. Females have thinner horns than males. Horns usually reach a length of between two and three feet.

3. The oryx is a territorial animal that uses its horns to establish power among its herd. With his excrement, the dominant male denotes his domain.

4. The size of oryx herds varies based on food availability. When food becomes available (after the rainy season), oryx herds of several hundred animals may be spotted. During the dry season, when food is scarce, oryx reside in small herds of fewer than 30 animals.

5. Oryx is a herbivore that feeds mostly on grass and thorny plants. They feed early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when the temperature is lower.

6. Oryx can survive in the absence of water for lengthy periods of time (for up to two weeks). Additionally, some plants, such as wild melon, underground roots, and tubers, can provide enough moisture.

7. Oryx has a unique mechanism that permits it to grow in arid and desert areas with often very high temperatures. In contrast to other animals, the oryx may elevate its body temperature throughout the day in order to prevent sweating and losing body fluids. Additionally, it cools the blood flowing to the brain through a network of capillaries in the nose. Cooling the blood prevents the brain from being overheated.

8. Oryx has an extraordinary sense of smell. It is capable of sensing rainfall up to 50 miles away. When rainfall is detected, the whole herd migrates.

9. Like other antelopes, the oryx flees from predators. It has a peak speed of 37 miles per hour.

10. When threatened directly, herd animals assume a sideways attitude to seem larger. If this does not dissuade predators, the oryx will use its long horns to defend itself.

11. Common oryx predators include lions, wild dogs, and hyenas.

12. Oryx mate continuously throughout the year. Females may mate again after the completion of their pregnancy.

13. The average pregnancy lasts around 8.5 months. Although the calf is can running immediately after birth, it spends the first few weeks of its life hidden in the grass until its distinctive body color reveals.

13. Young oryx ingest milk between the ages of 6 and 9 months. Oryx reaches sexual maturity at the age of two years. Young males often depart their herd at this time in favor of another.

14. Oryx live an average of twenty years in captivity and twenty years in the wild. This, however, is governed by the necessary environmental conditions.

15. Oryx live an average of twenty years in captivity and twenty years in the wild. This, however, is governed by the necessary environmental conditions.

That concludes our list of Oryx facts! Did you enjoy that? Let us know in the comments box.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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