Mammals - Africaraw

Etosha National Park

Along the dry Auob river bed, we saw this Gemsbok (Oryx gazella) chewing the pelvis bone, probably from a springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), to supplement its calcium intake. Kgalagadi transfrontier park, ,South Africa.

Biology Note:-Giraffe have an even larger calcium & phosporus requirement to support growth. Osteophagia (bone eating) was thought to supplement their intake of these nutrients. However, recent research from Onderstepoort suggests insignificant digestion of bone occurs in the rumen of the giraffe (Bredin et al. Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 2008;75:1). I can't find information on whether bone digestion is more effective in gemsbok.

Auob riverGemsbok Oryx gazellaKgalagadi transfrontier parkSouth Africabonechewspringbok Antidorcas marsupialis