The addax , also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope, is an antelope native to the Sahara Desert. The only member of the genus Addax, it was first described scientifically by Henri de Blainville in 1816. As suggested by its alternative name, the pale antelope has long, twisted horns – typically 55 to 80 cm (22 to 31 in) in females and 70 to 85 cm (28 to 33 in) in males. Males stand from 105 to 115 cm (41 to 45 in) at the shoulder, with females at 95 to 110 cm (37 to 43 in). They are sexually dimorphic, as the females are smaller than the males. The colour of the coat depends on the season – in the winter, it is greyish-brown with white hindquarters and legs, and long, brown hair on the head, neck, and shoulders; in the summer, the coat turns almost completely white or sandy blonde.
The addax mainly eats grasses and leaves of any available shrubs, leguminous herbs and bushes. They are well-adapted to exist in their desert habitat, as they can live without water for long periods of time. Addax form herds of five to 20 members, consisting of both males and females. They are led by the oldest female. Due to its slow movements, the addax is an easy target for its predators: humans, lions, leopards, cheetahs and African wild dogs. Breeding season is at its peak during winter and early spring. The natural habitat of the addax are arid regions, semideserts and sandy and stony deserts.
Females are sexually mature at 2 to 3 years of age and males at about 2 years. Breeding occurs throughout the year, but it peaks during winter and early spring. In the northern Sahara, breeding peaks at the end of winter and the beginning of spring; in the southern Sahara, breeding peaks from September to October and from January to mid-April. Each estrus bout lasts for one or two days.
In a study, the blood serum of female addaxes was analyzed through immunoassay to know about their luteal phase. Estrous cycle duration was of about 33 days. During pregnancy, ultrasonography showed the uterine horns as coiled. The maximum diameters of the ovarian follicle and the corpus luteum were 15 mm (0.59 in) and 27 mm (1.1 in). Each female underwent an anovulatory period lasting 39 to 131 days, during which there was no ovulation. Anovulation was rare in winter, which suggested the effect of seasons on the estrous cycle
Gestation period lasts 257–270 days (about nine months). Females may lie or stand during the delivery, during which one calf is born. A postpartum estrus occurs after two or three days The calf weighs 5 kg (11 lb) at birth and is weaned at 23–29 weeks old.[
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