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).
Algazal, and in Arabia by the small white oryx (0.
The antelopes include the beisa oryx, fairly common and widely distributed; the greater and lesser kudu (the greater kudu is not found on the Ogaden plateau); the Somali hartebeest (Bubalis Swaynei), found only in the Haud and Ogo districts; waterbuck, rare except along the Webi Shebeli and the Nogal; the dol or Somali bushbuck; the dibatag or Clarke's gazelle; the giraffe-like gerenuk or Waller's gazelle, very common; the aoul or Soemmering's gazelle, widely distributed; the dero (Gazella Speki); and the small dikdik or sakaro antelope, found in almost every thicket.
The larger antelopes, so common on the African side of the Gulf of Aden, are not found, except one variety, the Oryx beatrix (called by the Arabs, wild cow), which is an inhabitant of the Nafud between Tema and Hail; it is about the size of a donkey, white, and with long straight horns.
Roman mosaics show representations not only of this ass, but of the oryx, hartebeest, and perhaps of the addax.
Still larger are the elands, of which the typical Taurotragus oryx of the Cape is uniformly sandycoloured, although stripes appear in the more northern T.
Equinus), but also including the oryxes (Oryx) and addax.
The various species of oryx differ from Hippotragus by the absence of the white eye-tufts, and by the horns sloping backwards in the plane of the face.
In the South African gemsbuck (Oryx gazella), fig.
3, the East African beisa or true oryx (0.
Beatrix) the horns are straight, but in the North African white oryx or algazel (0.
- Gemsbuck, or Cape Oryx (Oryx gazella).
Here in ancient times were found the oryx, addax, ibex, gazelle, bubale, ostrich, hyena and porcupine, more rarely the wild ox and wild sheep (0.
The animals chiefly hunted were the gazelle, ibex, oryx, stag, wild ox, wild sheep, hare and porcupine; also the ostrich for its plumes, and the fox, jackal, wolf, hyaena and leopard for their skins, or as enemies of the farm-yard.
The sable and roan antelopes are distinguished from Oryx by the stout and thickly ringed horns rising vertically from a ridge over the eyes at an obtuse angle to the plane of the lower part of the face, and then sweeping backwards in a bold curve.
The structure of their molar teeth affiliates them to the antelopes of the Oryx and Hippotragus groups; but the early bovines lack horns in the female, whereas both sexes of these antelopes are horned.