The Addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the antelope family. It is also known as the White Antelope and the Screwhorn Antelope. It is similar to the Scimitar Oryx.
The Addax has pale-coloured (white or sandy blonde) fur in summer that darkens to greyish-brown in winter. It has white hindquarters and legs. The hair on its head, neck, and shoulders is long and brown. Its head has brown or black markings that form an X-shape over its nose. The male and female have long, spiraled, and twisted horns. Long black hairs protrude between its horns, ending in a short mane on its neck. Its tail is short, ending with a tuft of black hair.
It grows to 95-115 centimetres (37-45 inches) at shoulder height. The female is smaller than the male. A female has horns measuring 55-80 centimetres (22-31 inches) long, and a male has horns 70-75 centimetres (28-33 inches) long.
It is native to the Sahara Desert in Africa. It prefers arid regions, such as semi-deserts and stony deserts. It has broad hooves with flat soles that enable it to walk on soft desert sand.
It is nocturnal, mainly active at night. During the heat of the day, it rests in a depression in the ground.
The Addax feeds mainly on grass, so it is primarily a grazer. However, sometimes it is a browser, eating leaves, seeds, shrubs, and bushes. It can live without water for long periods.
It is slow-moving, so its predators include lions, African wild dogs, cheetahs, and leopards.
It is social, living in herds of 5-20 male and female individuals. The oldest female leads the herd. The male is territorial and will protect the females.
The female is pregnant for 257-270 days, before giving birth to one live young, called a calf. It feeds on its mother’s milk for 23-29 weeks.
It lives, on average, for 19 years in the wild.
[Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM