The Addax nasomaculatus was formerly present throughout the Sahara. A grazing antelope and an even-toed ungulate, it tends to live far from water. It has a long tail with a black tip, and a coat that is greyish white with a white belly and rump. It has long twisted horns which appear on both sexes and can be as long as 43 inches. It grazes in herds of up to 300, chews a cud and can survive without water for days at a time.

Really, I just like this one because I get to use the word ungulate in a sentence.

So, what is it?
The addax antelope (Addax nasomaculatus) is another mammal on the IUCN's endangered species list. Found in the sandy and stony areas of the Sahara Desert, its numbers have been driven down to a few hundred due to active hunting of the animal with modern weaponry and transportation for food and leather.

What does it look like?
Weighing up to three hundred pounds (135 kg) and with a body length of up to 4.3 feet (130 cm), the addax has a glossy off-white coat, with white rump, underside, limbs, and lips. Its distinguishing features are a broad white 'X'-shaped blaze on the face, dense, dark hair on the forehead, and horns that are present on both male and female and grow up to 3.6 feet (109 cm) in males and 2.6 feet (80 cm) in females. The addax has wide hooves with flat soles, and well-developed dewclaws, which prevent them from sinking in sand.

What does it eat and drink if it lives in the Sahara?
The addax's preferred diet is the coarse grasses found in parts of the Sahara, though it will feed on acacia and leguminous herbs in the absence of grass. It is the most desert-adapted antelope in the world, living most of its life without water, the plants and dew that it feeds on providing sufficient moisture.

Mr. Aever, please inform the class of the ecological and behavioral qualities of this animal.
Nocturnal and crepuscular, the addax is active mostly from dusk until dawn, the coolest time in the Sahara desert. Because of the aridity of its habitat, it ranges over considerable territory in its search for food; its enlarged hooves helping it move over the sandy soil without sinking. While resting, the addax digs a small impression into the sand, usually near a boulder or some similar means of shelter from sun and wind.

Another interesting note is that while male addax leave small heaps of dung, females tend to scatter their feces.

And now the social and sexual aspects of the antelope.
Living in herds of five to twenty individuals, they formerly tended to join together in larger groups, with numbers ranging from a few hundred to nearly a thousand animals, though with the endangered state of the addax, that is no longer possible. The addax live together in distinct social hierarchies, apparently based on age, and are usually led by an older male.

Addax live up to twenty-five years in captivity, with a single young being born per year between the months of September and January, after a gestation period of about 260 days. Females reach sexual maturity at about 18 months, and males reach it before their third year.

Let there be Latin!
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Hippotraginae
Genus: Addax
Species: Nasomaculatus


Ad"dax (#), n. [Native name.] Zool.

One of the largest African antelopes (Hippotragus, ∨ Oryx, nasomaculatus).

⇒ It is now believed to be the Strepsiceros (twisted horn) of the ancients. By some it is thought to be the pygarg of the Bible.


© Webster 1913.

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