The Arabian Oryx is an antelope that is so well adapted to the desert, that it makes living in otherwise inhospitable conditions look like a piece of cake! Read on to learn more about this resilient creature and where you can have an encounter with it.

What is an Oryx?

The Arabian oryx is one the largest desert mammals and is a species of antelope, which is remarkably well adapted to the harsh living conditions of the Gulf. For instance, its white coat reflects the sun’s rays and its hooves are thick to protect it from the heat of the sand. However, the most distinguishing feature is its long, straight, horns which can grow to be as long as 27 inches!

Tamar Assaf, Arabian orix , marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Where Can I See One?

If you’re sightseeing in Abu Dhabi but would love an incomparable experience of seeing an oryx in the flesh, hotels such as Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort can arrange a safari at the Arabian Wildlife Park. Apart from these antelopes, you can also spot some hyenas, giraffes, and even a cheetah if you are lucky.

Are They Herd Animals?

An Oryx is a pack animal for the most part and move in herds from as little as 5 to as large as 30. However, it’s not uncommon to find a solitary male roaming the planes. Within a herd itself, there’s a hierarchy that is established based on displays of posturing but without any shows of violence since an Oryx is not aggressive by its nature.

It Can Smell Rain!

The Arabian oryx has an incredible sense of smell and it can smell the rain, before the downpour! The head Oryx of the herd will lead its flock in the direction from which it picked up the scent and a herd will walk hundreds of miles in search of the green pastures, which will sprout out after the rainfall.