AskDefine | Define gemsbok

Dictionary Definition

gemsbok n : large South African oryx with a broad black band along its flanks [syn: gemsbuck, Oryx gazella] [also: gemboks (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A large African antelope of the Oryx genus.


Extensive Definition

The gemsbok or gemsbuck (Oryx gazella) is a large African antelope, of the Oryx genus. The name is derived from the Dutch name of the male chamois, Gemsbok. Although there are some superficial similarities in appearance (especially in the colour of the face area), the chamois and the oryx are not related.
Gemsbok live in herds of about 10-40 animals, which consist of a dominant male, a few non-dominant males, and females. They often live in association with zebras, gazelles or other antelopes. The female's horns may be curved but the male's are thicker and parallel. Male gemsbok have been known to gore attacking lions with their horns.
There are two types of gemsbok: a northern and southern variety. The northern gemsboks have black-fringed ears while the southern ones have longer horns and more rounded ears.
Gemsbok are mainly desert-dwelling and do not depend on drinking to supply their physiological water needs.
In 1969 the New Mexico State Department of Game and Fish decided to introduce Gemsbok to the Tularosa Basin in the United States. The introduction was a compromise between those who wanted to preserve nature and those who wanted to use it for profit and promotion. 93 were released from 1969 to 1977. The current population is estimated to be 3000.
Gemsbok have an average shoulder height of four feet (One metre, 20 centimetres) and can weigh up to 450 pounds (200 kilograms).


gemsbok in German: Spießbock (Antilope)
gemsbok in Spanish: Oryx gazella
gemsbok in French: Oryx gazelle
gemsbok in Italian: Oryx gazella
gemsbok in Lithuanian: Tiesiaragis oriksas
gemsbok in Hungarian: Nyársas antilop
gemsbok in Dutch: Gemsbok
gemsbok in Japanese: オリックス (動物)
gemsbok in Polish: Oryks południowy
gemsbok in Portuguese: Órix
gemsbok in Russian: Сернобык
gemsbok in Finnish: Beisa
gemsbok in Swedish: Gemsbock
gemsbok in Thai: โอริกซ์
gemsbok in Chinese: 南非劍羚
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