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Desert Adaptations

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Living in a desert landscape means an endless search for food. Addax Antelopes have several special adaptations and behaviours to cope with this harsh environment;

– To reduce water evaporation they are most active in the morning and evening and prefer finding shade to rest during the hottest hours of the day. They often dig cavities in the sand during cold nights so that they will loose as little body heat as possible.

Even if they rarely need to drink in the wild, it's not uncommon to see addax antelopes drink in the zoo. The water is simply there and available and the food they are given in zoos is usully too dry to supply them with all the water needed.
Even if they rarely need to drink in the wild, it’s not uncommon to see Addaxes drink in the zoo. The water is simply there and available and the food they are given in zoos is usually too dry to supply them with all the water needed.

– The white summer coat helps to reflect the sun during the hot summer days, while the grayer winter coat absorbs more heat. This way they can more efficiently maintain a stable body temperature.

– The diet consists of grass, herbs and leaves. Their senses are perfectly adapted for life in the desert and they can ”smell” rainfalls from miles away. This is vital to find for example Aristida grasses that will quickly sprout with a slight rainfall.

– They generally just eat the most nutritious parts of the plants which also give them all the water they need. Water from these plants is preserved in little pouches in the stomach lining to use at times of dehydration, they therefor rarely or never need to drink water.

-They have wider hooves than antelopes of similar size to make it easier to move across the sand dunes.

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