Arabian Oryx

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iArabian Oryx
Image:Oryx leucoryx.jpg
Conservation status

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Hippotraginae
Genus: Oryx
Species: O. leucoryx
Binomial name
Oryx leucoryx
Pallas, 1766

The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) was found in steppe and desert areas in the Middle East.

Arabian Oryx stand about a metre high at the shoulder and weigh around 70 kilograms (about 154lbs). Their coats are an almost luminous white, their undersides and legs are brown, and there are black stripes where the head meets the neck, on the forehead, on the nose and going from the horn down through the eye to the mouth. Both sexes have long straight ringed horns which reach just over half a metre.

Image:Oryx family.jpg
Arabian Oryx group, mounted in a museum display case.

Arabian Oryx eat buds, grass and leaves. Arabian Oryx rest during the heat of the day and can detect rainfall and will move towards it, this means that they have huge ranges, a herd in Oman ranges over 3,000 square kilometres. Herds are of mixed sex and contain between two and fifteen animals.

Arabian Oryx were hunted to extinction in the wild by 1972. However a breeding program in zoos around the world brought them back from the brink and a hundred animals have been reintroduced in Oman, Jordan, Qatar and Israel, with six hundred more in captivity.

The Bible uses the Hebrew word re’em for the Arabian Oryx, although this word may also refer to the Aurochs. The legend of the Unicorn probably originated in part from the Arabian Oryx, which when seen in profile frequently appears to have only a single horn. In the King James Version of the Bible the word “re’em” is translated as “unicorn”.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Participants at 4th International Conservation Workshop for the Threatened Fauna of Arabia (2003). Oryx leucoryx. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is endangered

[edit] External links

fr:Oryx d'Arabie it:Oryx leucoryx he:ראם לבן lt:Baltasis oriksas nl:Arabische oryx

Arabian Oryx

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