Animals of the Vogelstrausskluft: Oryx Antelope
Oryx Antelope
Plateau, Old Valley, Canyon Plains
(Oryx gazella gazella, Spiessbock)

Oryx antelopes can be found in nearly all African desert- and savannah areas. The subspecies that lives in Namibia - also known as »Gemsbok« - is, with a shoulder height of 1.2m the largest and most common. It carries a broad black stripe on its side that reaches all across its back legs.

Oryx are able to resist extremely high temperatures without loosing too much water. To minimise the loss of water caused through sweating, their brain is covered with a net of closely arranged veins and arteries - the so called »rete mirabile«. That way the arteries are cooled by the blood of the veins that comes from the nasal cavities. In addition the animals mainly graze at night, when the desert plans collect moisture and contain up to 40% more water.

Oryx antelopes are extremely cautious, sharp-eyed and be very dangerous when provoked or in defence. With their long, sable-like horns they even engage lions, often wounding them deadly. They live in small herds of 6 to 30 animals.

Population on Vogelstrausskluft: widespread
Main Habitats: Plateau, Canyon Plains, Ancient Valley

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