Scimitar-Horned Oryx

Our Scimitar-Horned Oryx, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MA

Where to find the Scimitar-Horned Oryx (besides Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, MA!)
Scimitar-Horned Oryx Facts
Scimitar-Horned Oryx
Oryx dammah

Type
Mammal

Life Span
15-20 years

Size
4.6 feet at the shoulder

Average Weight
220-460 lbs

Group Name
Herd

Group Size
Up to 70

Name of Young
Calf

Our Scimitar-Horned Oryx, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MAFacts

  • Scimitar-horned oryxes are recognized by their long curved horns that may reach 36 inches in length.  Both males and females have horns. The horns of females are more slender.
  • These oryxes have adapted to living in arid environments. For example, they have capillaries near their nasal passages that, when they breath, cool blood flowing to their brain.
  • During times when water is scarce, they can raise their body temperature to 116°F. At this temperature, heat leaves their body for the surrounding cooler air without losing water to perspiration.
  • Another way they are well suited for desert habitats is their white coat. Their white hair helps reflect the heat of the sun. They also have wide hooves to help them walk over sand without sinking.

Did You Know?

Scimitar-horned oryxes may have contributed to the myth of unicorns.  From certain angles, an oryx may appear to have a single horn. Also, their horns do not grow back if lost, so the myth may be based on sightings of injured individuals.