The Kalahari Gemsbok (Oryx) is another example of how advantageously animals have adapted to the Kalahari region. Though larger in size than the Springbok, they inhabit the most challenging parts of the dessert. They are able to do this due to their survival strategies and unique physiological characteristics. Its physical orientation is a way to resist the force of the desert sun.
The Gemsbok is sure to always keep the smallest part of its body toward the sun, with the largest part facing toward the breeze in order to reduce its body temperature. During the daytime, they are often found resting in any available shade, so as to best make use of grazing opportunities during the night time.
Even more astounding are the unique physiological traits such as the Gemsbok's white underbelly, which reflects heat from the desert sand. Gemsbok also have the ability to raise and lower their own body temperature significantly.
This is the result of a unique series of blood vessels at the base of its brain, known as the carotid rete. Blood flowing toward this vital organ is cooled significantly, whilst the rest of its body temperature can go up to 45° Celsius - enough to kill most animals. During the cooler night temperatures, all of the excess heat accumulated during the day is lost.