ORYX (Gr. opo?, 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 bcisa), which is replaced in South Africa by the gemsbuck (oryx gazella). In Northern Africa the group is represented by the scimitar-horned O. leucoryx or O. algazal, and in Arabia by the small white oryx (O. bcatrix) . See Antelope.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)