ORYX (Gr. dpoE, a pickaxe, hence applied to the animal), the scientific name of a group of African antelopes of relatively large size with long straight or scimitar-shaped horns, which are present in both sexes, and long tufted tails. They are all desert animals. The true oryx of classical writers was probably the East and North-east African beisa-oryx (Oryx beisa), which is replaced in South Africa by the gemsbuck (oryx gazella). In Northern Africa the group is represented by the scimitar-horned 0. leucoryx or 0. algazal, and in Arabia by the small white oryx (0. beatrix). See Antelope.
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