Largest of the Oryx and the only one with rounded ears. Sturdy, pinkish tan body with conspicuous black-and-white markings on head and legs. Side stripe broad. Tail black with black dock and long brush. Born yellowish tan. All grow long, straight horns with rings. Horns usually form a wide V. Lengths average 33-36", with long horns 41-48". Spread at tips 11.5-31". Male weight 370-460 lbs to about 530 lbs. Females often 360-460 lbs.
Food habits: Grazer. Live mainly on grass, but take some browse, especially when grazing gives out. Then seek melons and dig assiduously for fleshy roots and tubers.
Habitat: Prefer flat grassland or savannah. Can live permanently on dry grassland but must retreat from semiarid areas when drought is prolonged (as when rains fail for several years in a row). Penetrate desert only when occasional rains bring grazing.
Water and climate: Can survive 8 months or longer without drinking provided food plants have enough moisture and if free to graze when water content highest (evening to morning). Handle hot weather well. Body temperature may rise in hot weather, although this is stressful. Thrive in New Mexico although the many deformed horns may be due to winter freezing. Have also done well in Texas, especially in drier areas where parasite loads are lower.
Temperament and Compatibility: Aggressive. Occasionally attack people. Mother may attack any animal if she has a young calf. Associate freely with any other oryx and hybridize readily. Oryx hybrids usually fertile. Hybrids with East African Oryx, can be mistaken for purebred gemsbok. Hybrids with addax said to be white with straight horns.
Births: All year
Gestation and young per birth: 8.5-10 mo.; 1 young