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The gemsbok (Oryx gazella), the largest of the oryx family, uses its impressive horns to keep intruders out of its herd's territory but when it comes to establishing dominance within the herd it takes no risks with these deadly weapons. Instead the males will put on a strange, posturing display, standing side by side and pointing their horns over their shoulders at each other in a ritualised fencing match. The oryx is still eaten by native Africans who also use its horn tips as spear points and its hide for shields. Natural enemies include lions, leopards, hunting dogs and hyenas.


ARKive photos and videos of the gemsbok