Oryx

Last updated

Oryx
Oryx gazella male 8054.jpg
A male gemsbok (Oryx gazella) at Etosha National Park.
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Hippotraginae
Genus: Oryx
(Blainville, 1816)
Species

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

Contents

Oryx is a genus consisting of four large antelope species called oryxes. Their fur is pale with contrasting dark markings in the face and on the legs, and their long horns are almost straight. The exception is the scimitar oryx, which lacks dark markings on the legs, only has faint dark markings on the head, has an ochre neck, and horns that are clearly decurved.

The Arabian oryx was only saved from extinction through a captive breeding program and reintroduction to the wild. [1] The scimitar oryx, which is now listed as extinct in the wild, also relies on a captive breeding program for its survival. [2]

Etymology

The term "oryx" comes from the Greek word Ὂρυξ, óryx, for a type of antelope. The Greek plural form is óryges, although oryxes has been established in English. Herodotus mentions a type of gazelle in Libya called "Orus", probably related to the verb "oruttoo" or "orussoo", [3] meaning "to dig". White oryxes are known to dig holes in the sand for the sake of coolness.

Species

Arabian oryx

The Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx, Arabic: المها), became extinct in the wild in 1972 in the Arabian Peninsula. It was reintroduced in 1982 in Oman, but poaching has reduced its numbers there. One of the largest populations of Arabian oryxes exists on Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates. Additional populations have been reintroduced in Qatar, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. As of 2011, the total wild population is over 1,000, and 6,0007,000 are being held in captivity. In 2011, the IUCN downgraded its threat category from Extinct in the Wild to Vulnerable, the first species to have changed back in this way. [1] [4]

Scimitar oryx

The scimitar oryx , also called the scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), of North Africa, is now listed as possibly extinct in the wild. However, unconfirmed surviving populations have been reported in central Niger and Chad, and a semi-wild population currently inhabiting a fenced nature reserve in Tunisia is being expanded for reintroduction to the wild in that country. [5] Several thousand are held in captivity around the world. [2]

East African oryx and gemsbok

The East African oryx (Oryx beisa) inhabits eastern Africa and the closely related gemsbok (Oryx gazella) inhabits southern Africa. The gemsbok is monotypic and the East African oryx has two subspecies; the common beisa oryx (O. b. beisa) and the fringe-eared oryx (O. b. callotis). In the past, both were considered subspecies of the gemsbok. The East African oryx is an endangered species, [6] whereas the gemsbok is not. [7]

Classification

Ecology

East African oryx in the Awash National Park, Ethiopia Parc national d'Awash-Ethiopie-Oryx (1).jpg
East African oryx in the Awash National Park, Ethiopia

All oryx species prefer near-desert conditions and can survive without water for long periods. They live in herds of up to 600 animals. Newborn calves are able to run with the herd immediately after birth. Both males and females possess permanent horns. The horns are narrow and straight except in the scimitar oryx, where they curve backwards like a scimitar. The horns can be lethal: oryxes has been known to kill lions with them, and they are thus sometimes called sabre antelopes (not to be confused with the sable antelope). The horns also make the animals a prized game trophy, which has led to the near-extinction of the two northern species.

As an introduced species

Between 1969 and 1977, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in the US intentionally released 95 gemsbok into its state's White Sands Missile Range [8] and that population is now estimated between 3,000 and 6,000 animals. [9] Within the state of New Mexico, oryxes are classified as "big game" and can be hunted.

The oryx is the national animal of the State of Qatar, and the company Qatar Airways has an oryx as its logo. [10] [11]

The main boss of the MMO game Realm of the Mad God is Oryx the Mad God, named after the creator of the originally sprite sheets, Oryx. His four direct subordinates also bear the names of four South African species of oryx.

Oryxes appear briefly, along with many other species of animal, in the Talk Talk music video It's My Life.

In the video game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, a playable defending operator nicknamed Oryx was introduced in Year 5 Season 1. His ability is called "Remah Dash," where he can charge to break holes in walls and knock down enemies.

Related Research Articles

Antelope Term referring to an even-toed ruminant

The term antelope is used to refer to many species of even-toed ruminant which are indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia.

Grazing antelope Subfamily of antelopes

A grazing antelope is any of the species of antelope that make up the subfamily Hippotraginae of the family Bovidae. As grazers, rather than browsers, the "Hippo" in Hippotraginae refers to the slightly horse-like characteristics of body size and proportions: long legs and a solid body with a relatively thick muscular neck.

Common eland Second largest antelope in the world

The common eland, also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. It is a species of the family Bovidae and genus Taurotragus. An adult male is around 1.6 metres (5') tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 942 kg (2,077 lb) with an average of 500–600 kg (1,100–1,300 lb), 340–445 kg (750–981 lb) for females). It is the second largest antelope in the world, being slightly smaller on average than the giant eland. It was scientifically described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766.

East African oryx Species of mammal

The East African oryx, also known as the beisa oryx is a species of antelope from East Africa. It has two subspecies: the common beisa oryx found in steppe and semidesert throughout the Horn of Africa and north of the Tana River, and the fringe-eared oryx south of the Tana River in southern Kenya and parts of Tanzania. In the past, some taxonomists considered it a subspecies of the gemsbok, but they are genetically distinct; the diploid chromosome count is 56 for the beisa and 58 for the gemsbok. The species is listed as Endangered by the IUCN.

Scimitar oryx Species of oryx

The scimitar oryx, also known as the scimitar-horned oryx and the Sahara oryx, is a species of Oryx that was once widespread across North Africa. The species went extinct in the wild in 2000, but a group was released into an acclimation enclosure within the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve in 2016, then reintroduced back into the wild. Twenty-one additional animals were placed in the acclimation enclosure in 2017.

Arabian oryx Species of antelope

The Arabian oryx or white oryx is a medium-sized antelope with a distinct shoulder bump, long, straight horns, and a tufted tail. It is a bovid, and the smallest member of the genus Oryx, native to desert and steppe areas of the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian oryx was extinct in the wild by the early 1970s, but was saved in zoos and private reserves, and was reintroduced into the wild starting in 1980.

Rhim gazelle Species of mammal

The rhim gazelle or rhim, also known as the slender-horned gazelle, African sand gazelle or Loder's gazelle, is a pale-coated gazelle with long slender horns and well adapted to desert life. It is considered an endangered species because fewer than 2500 are left in the wild. They are found in Algeria, Egypt, and Libya, and possibly Chad, Mali, Niger, and Sudan.

Gemsbok Species of mammal

The gemsbok, gemsbuck or South African oryx is a large antelope in the genus Oryx. It is native to the arid regions of Southern Africa, such as the Kalahari Desert. Some authorities formerly included the East African oryx as a subspecies.

Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve

The Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is a 3,000-acre (12 km2) breeding and reacclimation center administered by the Israel Nature Reserves & National Parks Authority, situated in the Southern Arava near Yotvata.

Extinct in the wild IUCN conservation category

A species that is extinct in the wild (EW) is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as known only by living members kept in captivity or as a naturalized population outside its historic range due to massive habitat loss.

Gazelle Genus of mammals

A gazelle is any of many antelope species in the genus Gazella. This article also deals with the seven species included in two further genera, Eudorcas and Nanger, which were formerly considered subgenera of Gazella. A third former subgenus, Procapra, includes three living species of Asian gazelles.

Arabian oryx reintroduction

The Arabian oryx, also called the white oryx, was extinct in the wild as of 1972, but was reintroduced to the wild starting in 1982. Initial reintroduction was primarily from two herds: the "World Herd" originally started at the Phoenix Zoo in 1963 from only nine oryx and the Saudi Arabian herd started in 1986 from private collections and some "World Herd" stock by the Saudi National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC). As of 2009 there have been reintroductions in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, and as of 2013 the IUCN Red List classifies the species as vulnerable.

Fringe-eared oryx

The fringe-eared oryx is a subspecies of the East African oryx. It was originally described as a distinct species by Oldfield Thomas in 1892, but was subsequently re-evaluated as a subspecies by Richard Lydekker in 1912. Recently, however, analysis using the phylogenetic species concept has led some authors to conclude that it should be returned to full species status.

Common beisa oryx

The common beisa oryx, also known as the beisa oryx, is the nominate subspecies of the East African oryx native to the Horn of Africa and Kenya. It is closely related to the fringe-eared oryx. There are four species of oryx, one of which has two distinct subspecies. Although they are very similar in appearance, they have a number of distinct characteristics that allow identification. Common beisa oryx have fringed ears and black tufts of hair that extend past their ears. However, all species of oryx are compact and muscular, with relative long bodies and broad necks. There are not any marked difference between male and female oryx. The common beisa oryx enjoys feeding on a variety of grass species. They feed during the day, when the plants hold the most water. During the dry season, they feed on poisonous Adenium plants.

References

  1. 1 2 IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2011). "Oryx leucoryx". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011.Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as Vulnerable.
  2. 1 2 IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). "Oryx dammah". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2011.Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as extinct in the wild.
  3. Dr. J. H. Thiel, Beknopt Grieks-Nederlands Woordenboek 4e Ed.(Wolters Groningen
  4. Bailey, T., O'Donovan, D., Lloyd. C., and Bailey, T. (2011). Editorial. Wildlife Middle East News 6(1). ISSN 1990-8237
  5. "Reviving a Breed", iht.com, January 2007, web: iht7. Archived September 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Oryx beisa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  7. "Oryx gazella". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  8. "Non-Native Species - White Sands National Park".
  9. State of New Mexico, NM-PDF-Oryx.
  10. "Pictures: Qatar Airways unveils new livery and first class products". Flightglobal. March 8, 2006. Archived from the original on May 27, 2014.
  11. Kaminski-Morrow, David (January 13, 2014). "Qatar hybrid livery to feature on test A350". Toulouse: Flightglobal. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014.