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oryx The Oryx (also called the sabre antelope) is a fast-running hoofed mammal that lives in dry regions of Africa and Asia (including the Arabian peninsula). They inhabit steppes (sparse grasslands), semi-deserts, and deserts.

These antelopes congregate in herds of 8 to 60 oryx. Newborn calves can run with the herd within minutes of their birth. Oryxes have a life span of about 20 years.

Some people think that the unicorn of legend was based upon the oryx.

Many types of oryxes (including the Arabian oryx and the scimitar-horned oryx) are endangered species, mostly because of overhunting and disease.

Horns: Oryx have long, straight, ringed, permanent horns. Females have slightly longer but thinner horns. These horns provide excellent protection from predators, and have been known to kill lions and jackals.

Anatomy: Oryxes have long legs, wide, hoofed feet, and long horns. The white to light brown coat camouflages them in the arid environment.

w Diet and Water: The Oryx is an herbivore (a plant-eater). It eats grasses, shrubs and roots, spending most of its time grazing. Oryx are ruminants; they swallow their food without chewing it. After a while, they regurgitate a partly-digested "cud" which they chew and then swallow for the last time.

This desert animal can go for weeks without water; it gets much of its water from the plants it eats.

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