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The Arabian Oryx Facts

The Arabian Oryx Facts

The Arabian Oryx is one of the most endangered species in the Arabian Peninsula. The nature of the Arabian countries has the same environment which are related to the different aspects like the weather, land, and the formation of the environment itself. In specific, the Arabian countries, which are included by the region of the GCC (Gulf Council Cooperation), share the same weather, which is represented in the warm or hot weather. This kind of weathers could be suitable enough for breeding some species and types of the animals which may be not existed in other different spots all over the globe. The Arabian Oryx is an animal that can be also named asthe Oryx Leucoryx. Some countries name it with the white Oryx. It is a medium-size antelope which has its distinct shoulder long, horns, and bump tail. It could be considered as the smallest member in the Oryx genus. 

The Arabian Oryx Habitat: 

It is existed widely in some specific regions that could be included in the native deserts in the Arabian Peninsula. Most of these countries enjoys with the perfect and suitable type of weather because it could be suitable enough to the nature of these desert animals and its types of food that may be not existed except in desert environment. This type of animals is one of these categories that are suffering from being extinct; the issue which was concerned about by some of those responsible for providing the protection of the extinct animals. Therefore, the Arabian Oryx was served in a private preserve and the zoos to be procreated. Through the next lines, we will preview some important details in general about the animal of Arabian Oryx; its nature, classification, physical description, and the other morphological aspects that could be reflected by this animal.

The Arabian Oryx Taxonomy and Classification: 

The Arabian Oryx was classified as the endangered animal on the list of the IUCN Red in 1986. On the other hand, it was listed and ranked as the first animal which was reverted to the vulnerable status animas that are suffering from the extinction in the wild in 2011. The Arabian Oryx is very popular type of animals because it could be chosen as the slogan for different events. For instance, the Arabian Oryx in the State of Qatar is named with the Orry which was chosen to be the symbol of the official game contest like 2006 Asian Games in Doha; in addition to the other great organizations which are existed in the States of Qatar like the face of the Arabian Oryx in Qatar Airways and the great hotel Oryx in Doha. The taxonomic name of the Arabian Oryx is represented in the gazelle or antelope which is derived basically from the Greek word (Orux). In English language, it is called with the white Oryx. In Arabic language, it has a lot of different names like Wudhaihi, baqar al wash, boosolah, and maha.

The Arabian Oryx Molecular Biology and Genetics:

The Arabian Oryx has about 58 chromosomes and it has also a pair of large and great sub-metacentric autosomes which are included in about 27 acrocentric autosomal pairs. The X and Y chromosomes of the genetics of the Arabian Oryx are related to both of the largest and smallest acrocentric. There were a lot of genetic studies which were held upon these species of the Arabian Oryx. One of these studies about the Oryx tells that there is a great variety between the species of this animal among the North American, European, and the Arabian species too. The divergence in the species of these types of animals was existed within the mitochondrial DNA haplotypes; the matter which was measured and estimated between 2.1 and 2.7 million years before. Therefore, the greatest numbers of these species are decreased year after year to be suffered from the distinction.

The Arabian Oryx Physical Description (Shape):

As we mentioned before, the Arabian Oryx is one of these species of animals which are existed in the tough nature and environment that could be related to the desert environment with its hot weather. It is normal to see the Arabian Oryx wandering in the dry places in the Arabian Peninsula because it is adapted to be in the tough weather and this is the matter that is associated with its nature. The Arabian Oryx is that animal, antelope, which is highly associated with the harsh desert weather and hot environment. It has a bright white coat which highly reflects the rays of the sun. 

In addition, it has hooves and the shovel-like that gives it the ability to expand its large surface of its legs in order to walk normally upon the desert sandy ground. It has brown legs with white bands upon its ankles; in addition to the brown marks which are existed upon its face; specifically on the bridge of its nose; all of this besides the cheeks and the triangle patch which is located on the forehead. The female could be seen as thinner as and longer than the males. The Arabian Oryx has significant horns that may be reached to be more than 68 centimeters in length. For the males of the Arabian Oryx, it have a tuft of the hair on the throat; besides the tuft in the tails of the female and male sexes; in addition of the black and brown color in the lower half of the tail.

The Arabian Oryx Morphology:

An Arabian Oryx is about 1 m (39 in) high at the shoulder and weighs around 70 kg (150 lb). The body of the Arabian Oryx contains a white shiny coat and its sides and legs are brown; besides the black strips which are occurred when the head of the anima met the neck and the nose across the eye to the mouth. Both of male and female sides are long and straight curved with the tinged horns whose length is between 50 and 75 centimeters. 

One of the aspects which are related to the Arabian Oryx is represented in resting during the day through hiding from the heat in addition to its ability to expect the places which will witness the rainfall and move it. The herd of this specie of animal include both of sexes and its number could be between two and fifteen animal. There is no aggression between the animals in the herd; the issue which gives the animals a part of peaceful environment too. The only predator for the Arabian Oryx is represented basically in wolves. In addition, there are a lot of reasons for its death such as the fights which occur between males, diseases, snakebites, and drowning in the seasons of floods.

The Arabian Oryx Geographic Range:

The places in which the Arabian Oryx could be existed in are represented widely in the Arabian Peninsula; in addition to the other places that are represented in Jordon, Syria, Iraq, and the desert of Sinai in Egypt. The great population of these species of animals are existed now mostly in Oman and Saudi Arabia; besides the increased range in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Arabian Oryx Ecology & Habitat:

In general, the Arabian Oryx is existed mostly in the deserts and arid plains. In addition, it is existed in the habitat rocky hillsides and the thick brush. The Arabian Oryx habitat is consisting of the undulating, gravel, and flat plains which are intersected by the shallow wadis and the depressions edging sand deserts with the different types of vegetation of the trees, grasses, and shrubs. The animal of Oryx could be existed in the deserts because it was adapted in the waterless wastelands for the most of the gemsboks and mammals in the semi-arid and arid bush lands and grasslands that could be mostly existed in Southern Africa. The Arabian Oryx is ranged over the high sandy dunes and the mountains to visit the salt licks and springs of water.

The Arabian Oryx Life History and Behavior:

The Arabian Oryx enjoys with some specific behaviors which make it distinguished among the other species of the antelope animals. Some of these behaviors are represented in the feeding ecology and the behavioral ecology. For the feeding behavior of the Arabian Oryx, the normal diets of the animal include the grasses in general. In addition, the Arabian Oryx food enjoys with variety in order to include different types of vegetation, buds, herbs, trees, bushes, fruits, toots and tubers. The herd of the Arabian Oryx contains both of male and female sexes that have the ability to follow the rains in different places of the Arabian Peninsula in order to get the new fresh plants; the issue which is enhanced by its ability to walk for long time and for long distances without water. As a result, the grasses and green new plants are the best source of food for the animal of Arabian Oryx because it contains the minerals, protein, and water.

On the other side, there is the behavioral ecology that are related to the behaviors of the Oryx animal in finding the sources of food. While the Arabian Oryx’s searching about the sources of food, it digs a shallow depressions in the soft surfaces which are existed under the trees and bushes in order to get the rest from the heat in the middle of the day. The Oryx animal seeks always for the water through detecting the rains even if it will occur in the far distances. In addition, the Oryx animal can predict the places where the fresh and new plants are existed because this refers to the best sources of food that contain protein and water. The number of the animals in the herd could be more than 100 one according to the reports which are held annually. The single territorial males are very rare; besides the bachelor herds which don’t occurred widely. The herds of Arabian Oryx establish the hierarchy which include the males and females that are above the age of more than 7 months. Both of the male and female species of the Arabia Oryx use their horns in order to defend themselves against the interlopers. When the females are separated from the males, the male can find them easily by searching the areas where the herd last visited. The places of gathering for the herds of Arabian Oryx are the same places where water is existed.

The Arabian Oryx Reproduction:

Speaking of the reproduction and development for the Arabian Oryx, there is no specific breeding season. They are reproduced through the months between December and April. The conception of the reproduction among the species of animals are associated basically with the winter rains. After 8 to 9 months, the female gives the birth that weigh about 10 kilograms at birth. The new calf has 2-4 times feeding per day. The new calves are suckled for 6-9 months. The calves reaches the maturity age when they reach 18-24 months. However, the droughts decrease the life expectancy widely among the different species of Arabian Oryx.

The Arabian Oryx Importance to Humans:

The Oryx animal is very important in most of the countries across the world, especially for the countries in the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian Oryx is considered the national animal for UAE, State of Qatar, and Jordon. The word ‘re’em” is the Hebrew word which refer to the Arabian Oryx which could also refer to the extinct aurochs, a type of mammals. All parts of the Arabian Oryx have a lot of different benefits for the human. The meat is widely appreciated and their hides were valued basically for the leather. In addition, there are some parts in the body of the anima which are used generally for the medical purposes. The head of the Arabian Oryx is used as a trophy. On the other hand, the head of the Arabian Oryx is used as slogan for the great multinational companies all over the world like this one that is used in Qatar Airways.

On the opposite side, there are some negatives which are related to the animal of the Arabian Oryx. One of these aspects is represented in the decreased crops and plants because the main source of food for these animals is represented in the grass and trees; this all besides the other sources of vegetation which are related by all means to the food that contains water and protein. All of these aspects helps in decreasing the rate of green spots in these places where visited by these species of animals.


To sum up, the Arabian oryx is considered one of these species of animals that could refer to the honor and trophy for the most of the countries all over the world; especially in the Arabian Peninsula countries. There are a lot of different benefits that could be collected also from this type of animals. In addition, the Arabian Oryx is distinguished widely among the other mammals because it is used greatly among the high-level organizations like Qatar Airways and the other great companies across the Arabian world.

The Arabian Oryx Facts

Ali Badr
By : Ali Badr
باحث ومترجم لغة إنجليزية، حاصل على بكالوريوس كلية الألسن قسم اللغة الإنجليزية من جامعة عين شمس

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