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The description, feeding and threats of Arabian oryx - Essay Example

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The Description, Feeding and Threats Of Arabian Oryx Introduction The Arabian Oryx is amongst the most rare mammals in the world. It is a captivating creature which equals to, possibly even exceeds, the camel in its capability to live without water…
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The description, feeding and threats of Arabian oryx
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Download file to see previous pages It has black markings on its face and legs and is of the size of a deer. It has reasonably long legs with wide hooves that help them in running in deserts. It possesses a splendid peripheral vision that helps it in spotting predators. It has the ability to increase its body temperature and make it higher than the ambient air in order to lose inordinate body heat (Walther, 1990). Although, sweating also helps the animal in loosing heat. The ability to increase its body temperature permits the Arabian Oryx to release heat into the surroundings. The brain is, however, protected during the process of increasing body temperature by the cool blood that returns from the nasal pathways, thus absorbing heat from arterial blood that is destined for the brain (Walther, 1990). (National Wildlife Research Center, 2007). The Oryx leucoryx (Arabian Oryx) is also known as white Oryx. It is a moderate-size antelope with a distinguishable shoulder bump, a tufted tail and long and unbowed horns. It is a bovine and is the smallest-sized member of the genus Oryx, native to steppe and deserted regions of the Arabian Peninsula. By the years 1970s, the Oryx leucoryx had vanished in the wild but was preserved in private preserves and zoos and then was reintroduced, in 1980s, into the wild (Wildscreen, 2013). It was enlisted as an endangered species in 1986 on the IUCN Red List while it was the first animal species that was reverted to vulnerable status after being categorized as extinct species in the wild. The populations of Arabian Oryx, in 2011, were estimated to be more than 1,000 animals in the wild while there are around 6,000-7,000 animals in the preservation areas and zoos worldwide (Wildscreen, 2013). General Description The scientific name of Arabian Oryx is Oryx leucoryx. It belongs to the Order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae. Its range of habitat noticed formerly was Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Arabian Peninsula and Sinai. Sand deserts and gravel plains constitute the habitat of Arabian Oryx. Its diet includes herbs, fruits, grasses, melons and roots. The average body length has been found to be around 5.3 ft/ 160cm. The average shoulder height is approximately 2.7-3.4 ft/ 81-102 cm. The tail length has been recorded to be 1.5-2 ft/ 45-60 cm while its weight is 143-154 lb/ 65-70 kg (AZA, 2009). The colour of its coat is white in colour, without any colour washes, as noticed in the other species of Oryx. The colour of its legs is brownish black, excluding the ankles, which have white bands. Its face is spotted with black splotches that run from the eyes, beneath the jowls and down the cheeks, and dark hair triangles are noticeable down the nose bridge as well as on the forehead. The tasselled tail of the Arabian Oryx is somewhat dark brown and black. The unbowed, long, ridged horns are noticed in both sexes of the Arabian Oryx, growing 1.6-2.2 feet/ 50-68 cm long (AZA, 2009). It is a white, graceful antelope, standing 3 to 4 feet tall and around 300 pounds weight, with black markings on the legs and face. Its white cost radiates the sunlight while during cold mornings heat is absorbed by the dark legs from the ground. The wide ears of the Arabian Oryx are circular at the tips. It is a keen-sighted animal, alert and wary, which protects itself by lowering its head in order to point forward its horns (AZA, 2009). The wandering herd comprises a leading male and various females with their young ones. Arabian Oryx is able to go without water for long periods, and the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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