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Natural UAE

The Sand Gazelle

The sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica) is the second largest of the antelopes that occur in the UAE and weighs up to 22 kgs. Virtually extinct in the wild, there are occasional reports from the Liwa of small groups of these beautiful creatures. The elegantly curved horns of both males and females are considerably longer than those of other gazelles occurring in the area. The animals are very light in colour, the head completely white in older animals, with back and flanks being light beige. The belly is white and there is no darker stripe between the white underside and the beige flanks and back of the gazelle. Contrasting with the overall pale body, are the black eyes, nostril and mouth. Their colouring is obviously an adaptation to the habitat they favour, which is the open sands. They are absent from the mountains. The sand gazelle is the only antelope in this area that regularly gives birth to twins, and this usually in spring and autumn. The young spend their first days in shallow scrapes, or under a small bush, until they are strong enough to move with the adults.

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