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Scimitar Horned Oryx

Updated on February 28, 2012

The mythical scimitar horned oryx or Oryx dammah, an ungulate (hoofed mammal) native to Northern Africa, is now extinct in the wild and endangered in the world. Sometimes credited for the myth of the Unicorn because of its silhouette/profile view, the scimitar horned oryx has come to make its home on exotic game ranches and zoos.

Some facts about the scimitar horned oryx:

Physical Description: The oryx is a large white oryx with chestnut neck and face. There are typically cocoa/beige markings on its face and legs. They can have a diffuse side streak and their winter coat is almost cream in color. Perhaps the most striking physical feature about the scimitar horned oryx are the horns present on both the males and females. Horn lengths can exceed 33.5 inches and some exceptional horns measure in at over 50 inches. The male scimitar horned oryx can weigh in aroud 500 lbs. with female weights around 300 lbs.

Native Habitat: As previously stated, the scimitar horned oryx is extinct in the wild. Native to Northern Africa, the scimitar horned oryx is now only captive bred in high fenced game ranches. In the wild, the oryx was nomadic and followed the erratic rainfall to green forage. They have (thankfully) done exceptionally well in game ranches in drier climates.

Behavior: Scimitar horned oryx are relatively assertive/agressive with each other but not with humans. They're compatible with other exotics as long as there are other scimitar horned oryx to joust with. They readily mate with other oryx producing fertile young.

Life and Reproduction: Parasite resistance is low in the scimitar horned oryx so a habitat where parasite loads are high are not preferred. The scimitar horned oryx breeds all year long and heavy rainfall may bring females into heat. Mothers give birth all year long with an 8-8.5 month gestation. Typically give birth to 1 young with 2 being rare.

Click here to see more pictures/video of scimitar horned oryx

The scimitar horned oryx
The scimitar horned oryx


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      big mike 5 years ago

      stop hunting

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      bike mike 5 years ago


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      Joanne Fulton 7 years ago

      I love your photo, of the scimitar horned oryx. I like photography it is so fun.