Animals Like Gemsbok (8 Unique Animals Similar to Oryx)

Last updated on December 29th, 2023 at 08:20 pm

Examples of animals like Gemsbok include Deer, Gazelle, Pronghorn, Takin, Goats, Muskoxen, Water Buffalo, and Bison.

The gemsbok, also known as the South African oryx (Oryx gazella), is a sizable antelope native to arid regions in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and parts of Zimbabwe, particularly thriving in the Kalahari and Namib Deserts.

According to research, these creatures can endure temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) and survive without water for 9-10 months.

Females exhibit exceptional care for their young, hiding them and providing nourishment in seclusion for the first three weeks after birth. Other oryx species can be found in genera like Addax, Hippotragus, and Oryx.

The gemsbok is a light brownish-grey to tan color, featuring lighter patches toward the lower rear of the rump. Additionally, its tail is long and black.

How Big Are Gemsbok?

Gemsbok holds the distinction of being the largest species in the Oryx genus. Standing at the shoulder, they measure between 115 to 125 cm. Their total body lengths range from 180 to 195 cm, with tails measuring 45 to 90 cm (18 to 35 in). Females typically weigh between 180 to 225 kg, while males are slightly larger, weighing 180 to 240 kg.

Notably, gemsbok requires 3 liters of water per 100 kg of body weight per day.

What population number of Gemsbok?

As of now, gemsbok faces no major threats. However, these antelopes are extensively hunted for their impressive horns and meat.

According to the IUCN Red List, the overall gemsbok population is estimated at approximately 373,000 individuals. Presently, this species holds a classification of Least Concern (LC), indicating a stable population status.

Let us take a look at some of the most Unique animals that look like Gemsbok.

8 Animals Like Gemsbok

1. Deer

Animals Like Gemsbok

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How are they like Gemsbok: Both species share characteristics such as smooth fur, slender legs, relatively small heads, similar coloration, and even comparable eating habits.

Deer comprises 27 species distributed across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, all belonging to the Cervidae family. These species are further classified into two sub-families.

Similar to Oryx, deer display considerable variation in size. The moose, among the largest land mammals in the United States, can reach a shoulder height of 6’11” and weigh over 1,500 lbs.

Conversely, the pudu, native to South America, is typically less than 17 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs as little as 7 lbs. as an adult. In terms of lifespan, captive deer can live up to 14 years, while wild deer generally have a lifespan of 4-5 years.

2. Gazelle

Animals Like Gemsbok

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How are they like Gemsbok: Both species have hollow and curved horns.

While some research projects may categorize gazelles as Gemsbok, there are notable differences between the two. Gazelles are primarily found in Africa and Asia, inhabiting deserts, grasslands, and savannahs.

They typically measure between 61-110 cm in size and weigh in the range of 14-30 kg.

Unlike Gemsbok, gazelles are not fast enough to outrun a cheetah, but they possess the agility to outmaneuver them as they flee. A gazelle can leap up to 10 feet in the air and can achieve speeds of up to 60 mph in short bursts.

3. Pronghorn

Animals Like Gemsbok

Image Source Pixabay

How are they like Gemsbok: They are also similar morphologically, although they feature a unique horn shape.

Today, the pronghorn is widespread across the southern and western United States and Canada.

As an herbivore, it sustains itself by feeding on grasses, forbs, and prairie plants. Remarkably, it holds the title of being one of the fastest terrestrial animals globally.

Pronghorns typically stand at about 3 feet at the shoulder and reach weights of 75-140 lbs. in adulthood.

They exhibit a herd behavior, composed of both genders. Adult males play a defensive role in protecting the herds from predators and employ vocalizations to attract females.

Pronghorns generally have a lifespan of around ten years.

4. Takin

Animals Like Gemsbok

How are they like Gemsbok: They also have narrow horns similar to those of most Gemsbok.

The takin, an even-toed mammal found on the east side of the Himalayas, resides in forested valleys where it grazes on grasses, leaves, and plants.

Standing up to 4.5 feet tall at the shoulders and reaching up to 7.3 feet in length from head to tail, the typical takin is a robust creature. Males weigh up to 770 pounds, slightly more than females, who reach weights of up to 616 pounds—roughly the size of a motorcycle

Annually, the takin engages in a short migration, forming a sizable herd of around 300 members for the summer. During this migration, they ascend to approximately 14,000 feet up the mountain. Remarkably, their life expectancy spans 21.9 years.

5. Goats

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How are they like Gemsbok: Both species belong to the Bovidae family, which encompasses a diverse group of cloven-hoofed mammals.

Goats are domesticated mammals, but wild goat species also exist. As herbivores, they graze on trees, bushes, and grass. Goats have a global presence, thriving in nearly all terrestrial biomes due to their adaptable nature.

Among the earliest domesticated animals, goats, along with sheep, have a history dating back to around 7,000 B.C. Evidence of goat remains has been discovered at archaeological sites in western Asia.

The size and weight of goats vary based on the species, ranging from 20 to 140 kgs, with sizes spanning 41 to 58 cm. Goats typically have a life expectancy of 15-18 years, although research suggests that some individuals have survived up to 24 years.

6. Muskoxen

How are they like Gemsbok: Both Gemsbok and goats are herbivores, grazing on grass. They share long, sometimes curved horns, belong to the same class, and are classified as even-toed mammals.

Muskoxen, belonging to the Bovidae family, inhabit the Canadian Arctic, Nunavut, and Greenland, and have been introduced to countries like Norway and Sweden.

Thriving in frozen biomes, their sizes and weights vary, with males being larger at 200-250 cm in length, compared to females at 150-200 cm. Adult Muskoxen weighs 180-410 kgs, with fur contributing significantly to their weight.

With a life expectancy of 12-20 years, Muskoxen exhibits herd behavior as a defense against predators, particularly dogs. They also engage in unique mating behavior, with male Muskoxen emitting a strong odor to attract females.

7. Water Buffalo

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How are they like Gemsbok: Water buffalos and Gemsbok share similarities, primarily in the presence of horns. Both species are herbivores, grazing on the same foods.

Water buffalos, originating in Asia, have become large mammals found globally. Thriving in various biomes with standing waters like swamps and dams, they are versatile herbivores, consuming grass, trees, and other vegetation.

While domestic water buffalos are widespread, their wild ancestors face endangerment, with an estimated population of less than 4,000, including only 2,500 adults.

In terms of size and weight, they vary, but the average size is 1.3 meters, with an average weight ranging from 300 to 550 kg. Typically, males are larger than females.

8. Bison

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How are they like Gemsbok: Bison share similarities with Gemsbok, both being even-toed mammals and possessing hollow horns.

Bison, large mammals belonging to the Bovidae family, are even-toed and predominantly found in Northern America and Europe. As ruminants, they consume grass and sedges, thriving in semi-open grasslands and scrublands.

Comprising two species, the American Bison and the European bison, these creatures weigh between 400 and 1270 kgs, standing at 2 meters tall.

Their lifespan ranges from 10 to 20 years. Bison exhibit wallowing behavior primarily for grooming purposes and are known for their unpredictable temperament.

Final Words

In conclusion, the world of animals akin to Gemsbok is surprisingly diverse, encompassing species that might not immediately come to mind. The resemblance depends on the specific build and size of the Gemsbok in focus. Among the contenders, deer, pronghorns, Takin, and Gazelle closely mirror the appearance of a typical Gemsbok. However, when exploring the likeness to a wildebeest, a bison emerges as a close counterpart in terms of appearance. The animal kingdom’s richness never fails to amaze, offering a tapestry of similarities and distinctions within the Gemsbok family.


1. What are some animals similar to Gemsbok?

Animals like deer, pronghorns, Takin, and Gazelle closely resemble Gemsbok in appearance. Additionally, bison can be likened to wildebeest.

2. What are the different types of gemsbok?

The East African oryx (Oryx beisa) is found in eastern Africa, while the closely related gemsbok (Oryx gazella) inhabits southern Africa. The gemsbok is monotypic, and the East African oryx has two subspecies: the common beisa oryx (O. b. beisa) and the fringe-eared oryx (O.).

3. What is a gemsbok related to?

The gemsbok is related to other oryx species, collectively belonging to the Bovidae family. Oryx species, including the Gemsbok, share common characteristics such as large size, distinctive horns, and adaptations for desert environments.


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