Beisa Oryx


The Beisa Oryx lives in South Africa.The Beisa usually eats in the early morning and late in the afternoon.They eat grasses,browse from thorny shrubs,thick leaved bland,wild melons,roots,and tubers they dig out of the ground.They increse water content by 25-40%.They maximize both food and water sources.

The Family

name scientific name
scimitar-horned oryx oryx dammah
arbian oryx oryx levcorx
fringed-eared oryx oryx gazella beisa
gemsbok oryx gazella gazella


A female leaves the herd to give birth and hides the calf for 2 or 3 weeks.Visiting a few times a day to nurse it.Most young males migrate out of their natal group join other groups.The newborn is an inconspicuous brown color.The black markings begin to appear when the calf is ready to return to the herd with its mother.Calves are suckled for 6-9 months reach maternity 18-24 months.
beisa_oryx_05.jpg this is a new born calf.


size - 47 inches at the shoulder
weight - 250 - 390 lbs.
life span - 20 years
habitat - dry plains
predators - lions,hyenas,and wild dogs.

Physical characteristics

Distribution is Ethiopia, Kenya (north of the Tana river), possibly Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. The Tana river marks the physical boundary between the Beisa and Fringed Eared Oryx.


A uniform beige color over the body with a dark horizontal band dividing the flanks from the belly and a dark band encircling the upper forelegs. A vertical brown stripe from the forehead to muzzle. Both sexes have horns.

Horn size between the male and female

The female horns are longer and more slender, the male is heavier than the female.


Habitat is the high plateaux which are fairly fertile except during the dry season, they then go down into the valley's seeking what moisture remains. They can go for days without drinking and may be encountered very far from water.


The social system of the oryx is unusual in that non territorial males live in mixed groups with females, or with females and their young. Males that dominate are territorial to a degree, marking their areas with dung deposits. The dominance hierarchy among oryx is based on age and size. As they grow, calves assess one another in tests of strength that look like games. As the hierarchy becomes established, the need to fight is reduced. Ritual displays replace actual contact, except when evenly matched individuals may have to fight to establish their rank. Along with lateral displays, oryx perform a slow, prancing walk and sometimes break into a gallop. When several males are making these displays, they may clash horns. A female leaves the herd to give birth and hides the calf for 2 or 3 weeks, visiting a few times a day to nurse it. The newborn is an inconspicuous brown color. The black markings begin to appear when the calf is ready to return to herd with its mother. Calves are suckled for 6 to 9 months and reach maturity at 18 to 24 months. Most young males migrate out of their natal group to join other groups.

Human use

The Beisa is used for food.hunting,home display,and even cloth. The Beisa is endanegered and eaten by predators.


Prior to its extiction in the wild scimitar-horned oryx in habitated the arid grasslands surounding the Sahara.

History of name

The term "oryx" was first introduced into scientific literature by the Russian zoologist Peter Simon Pallas in his memoir on the genus Antelope published in 1767, where it was applied to the African eland as Antelope oryx [Pallas, 1767]. However in his second memoir on the subject published in 1777.


The color of the newborn oryx calf is a light sandy brown, progressively changing to white after three months, while the facial and leg markings appear. The neonate oryx measure half of its mother's height (shoulder height), and show the tip of their horns from day one.

Genus level


Where it lives


What it looks like

beisa_04.jpeg beisa_oryx_03.jpeg