Arabian Oryx Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lindsey Spencer

Lindsey has taught regular and special educations students in grades 1-8 since 2009 and has a master's degree in special education.

The Arabian oryx is a type of antelope that lives only on the Arabian Peninsula. In this lesson, you will learn interesting facts about the Arabian oryx.

A Desert Antelope

Would you believe that in the 1970s there were no wild Arabian oryx? The only Arabian oryx living during that time were found in zoos. People decided they needed to work really hard to introduce the Arabian oryx back to the wild.

The good news is that this antelope has come back from extinction, and there are now over 1,000 wild oryx living on the Arabian Peninsula today.

Arabian oryx
Arabian oryx

Built For The Desert

Most Arabian oryx live in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, and Kuwait. These countries make up the Arabian Peninsula. Arabian oryx also can be found in Egypt, which is west of the Arabian Peninsula, and Syria, which is north of the Arabian Peninsula.

Arabian peninsula, in yellow
Arabian peninsula

Arabian oryx are built specially for desert environments. On the Arabian Peninsula, temperatures can get up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. To fight these really hot temperatures, the fur on the Arabian oryx is white. White reflects the sun and helps the Arabian oryx stay cool.

Have you ever walked on the beach? It's a little hard, isn't it? The sand moves a lot, so walking is difficult. This is what the desert is like where the Arabian oryx lives. But they have a special adaptation, which means a body part or behavior that help a living thing survive in an environment. An adaptation that the Arabian oryx has is wide feet that help it stay on top of the sand, rather than sinking in.

Life In The Desert

Arabian oryx

Living in the desert is tough. Food and water are tough to find. Arabian oryx move around a lot to find new sources of food and water. Scientists say that Arabian oryx seem to know where it is raining, even if it is far away. Arabian oryx have adapted to be able to go a long time without drinking water. They are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants like grass, roots, and tubers (a potato is an example of a tuber).

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