Oryx

(Oryx gazella)

Oryx are excellently adapted to the environment in African semideserts. Even temperatures of over 45°C and no water are no problem for an oryx. Thanks to a type of ‘heat exchange system’, the oryx can endure high temperatures without a problem.

CHARACTERISTICS

Range
Southwest Africa

Habitat
Arid regions of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa

Diet
Grass, herbs, tubers, leaves and buds

Status
Not endangered

Size
Males reach a standing height of up to 180 cm

Weight
Up to 240 kg

Gestation time:
approx. 8 to 10 months

Skilled survivor
Temperatures of over 45°C and no water. That’s no problem for an oryx! Oryx have a ‘heat exchange system’ similar to that of a camel that prevents their brains from overheating. They feed when the plants have absorbed so much humidity that they’re 42 percent water: at night and in the early morning.

National icons
Due to their toughness and self-sufficiency, Namibia and the North Cape province of South Africa chose the oryx as their heraldic animal.

Did you know...

Their long, sharp horns are a very effective weapon against lions & co. With their broad hooves, they have no trouble moving on sand. Another characteristic of oryx is their black ‘face mask’.