The Life of Animals | Oryx | The term "Oryx" comes from the Greek word Ὂρυξ, oryx, a type of antelope. The correct plural is óryges although oryxes established in English. The Arabian Oryx the smallest species, became extinct in the wild in 1972 in the Arabian Peninsula. One of the largest populations of Arabian Oryx is in Sir Bani Yas Island in United Arab Emirates. Additional populations are again in Qatar, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. In 2011, the IUCN threat category of degraded vulnerable extinct in the wild, the first species to extinction in the wild back to the vulnerable state.
The Scimitar Oryx, also known Scimitar-horned Oryx (Oryx dammah) of North Africa is now listed as possibly extinct in the wild. The East African Oryx (Oryx Beisa) inhabits East Africa, and the closely related Gemsbok (Oryx Gazella) lives in South Africa. The Gemsbok is monotypic, and the East African Oryx has two subspecies, East African Oryx "adequate" (Oryx Beisa Beisa) and Fringe-eared oryx (Oryx Beisa called otis).
All species oryx prefer desert conditions and can survive for long periods without water. They live in herds of 600 animals. Males and females have a permanent horns. The horns are narrow and straight, except for the Scimitar Oryx, which curve backwards like a scimitar.