Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't mess with an oryx

Sounds sort of like a Dr. Seuss animal, doesn't it? However, an oryx is a real animal.

Oryx are a "horse antelope" with long spear-like horns, which gave them the nickname of "spear antelope." In medieval England their horns were sold as unicorn horns. Their white or light faces with black markings are striking.

Living in east Africa are two types of oryx: the beisa oryx and the fringe-eared oryx. Scimitar-horned oryx from north Africa are believe to be extinct in the wild, but are one of the most common oryx in zoos. Their horns are curved lie a scimitar (an Arabian sword).

An Arabian oryx, mostly white, and smaller, were hunted to extinction in the wild in the late 1960s. Fortunately, though some Arabian oryx in captivity have been bred and they’ve been reintroduced to the wild.

Here’s an interesting video where an oryx fights off lions.

Jungle Jane

P.S. If you want to know more about antelope in general, I recently posted a whole page of information about them here.

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