Addax Antelope Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

The addax antelope is a desert animal that has some amazing adaptations that help it live in the harsh desert climate. Read on to find out how this unusual animal survives in the Sahara Desert.

Awesome Feet and Horns

If you have ever tried walking through the sand, you know it's not easy. Your feet sink in the sand, making it difficult to walk. The addax antelope doesn't have this problem. It has splayed hooves, which means that they're very wide and slightly turned outward. This lets them walk on top of the sand without sinking in!

Special features like the addaxes' feet, which help them survive in their environment, are called adaptations. Over time, the animals have developed these traits to make their lives easier.

Addax antelopes have long twisty horns.
horns

That's not the only unusual feature of the addax antelope. They also have very long horns that can grow between 30 and 43 inches long, with several twists in them. It's these horns that give them their nickname, 'screwhorn antelopes.'

Have you ever noticed that when you wear black clothes during the summer, you get hotter than when you wear light clothes? That's because the sun is reflected off light clothing to help keep you cooler. Like your summer clothing, the addax antelope has fur that is mostly white or light tan. This helps reflect the sun and keeps the addax cool in the hot desert sun. Their white fur has also given them another nickname - 'white antelopes.'

Almost Extinct

Once upon a time, the addax roamed throughout northern Africa in large herds. Recently, they've only been found in the country of Niger in Africa. So in 2016, scientists tried to count all the addax antelopes that were living in the wild.

The scientists looked all over Niger for addax antelopes but they only found three! For this reason, the addax is now listed as critically endangered, which means that it's in danger of becoming extinct in the wild. Luckily, there are about 2,000 of them living in zoos and nature centers around the world.

Addax Antelope Facts

Let's explore some additional facts about addax antelopes.

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