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The scimitar oryx is a straight-horned antelope that stands just over 1 m (3.3 ft) at the shoulder. The males weigh 140–210 kg (310–460 lb) and the females 91–140 kg (201–309 lb). The body measures 140–240 cm (55–94 in) from the head to the base of the tail. The tail is 45–60 cm (18–24 in) long and ends with a tuft. They are sexually dimorphic with males being larger than females.


Its coat is white with a red-brown chest and black markings on the forehead and down the length of the nose. The coat reflects the sun's rays, while the black portions and the tip of the tongue provide protection against sunburn. The white coat helps to reflect the heat of the desert. Calves are born with yellow coats and lack distinguishing marks, which appear later in life. Their pelage changes to adult coloration at 3–12 months old.


Both sexes have horns, but those of the females are more slender. The horns are long, thin, and symmetrical; they curve backwards (a distinctive feature of this species) and can reach 1.0 to 1.2 m (3 ft 3 in to 3 ft 11 in) on both the males and the females. The horns are so thin that they can break easily. The female has four nipples. The large, spreading hooves are well adapted to allow these antelopes to walk on the sand of their dry habitats. A scimitar oryx can live as long as 20 years.


*information courtesy of

Scimitar Oryx

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