Arabian gazelle

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Arabian Gazelle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Antilopinae
Genus: Gazella
Species: G. arabica
Binomial name
Gazella arabica

The Arabian gazelle (Gazella arabica) was until 2012 considered as a valid species of an elusive gazelle that was apparently hunted to extinction in its Middle Eastern homeland, Saudi Arabia. It is only known from a single lectotype specimen collected on the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea in 1825. However, it is highly unlikely that the specimen actually originated from the Farasan Islands, and represented a former population on the island. The gazelles now occurring on Farasan Islands are a subspecies of mountain gazelle, which was distinguished from this species from skull characteristics. Since the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this species is included as extinct by its Antelope Specialist Group[1] until 2008. Since 2008, the Arabian gazelle is rated as Data Deficient due to the unresolved mystery about the validity of this taxon.[2] In 2012 a genetic study of the lectotype specimen revealed that skull and skin do not stem from the same animal but belong to two distinct lineages of the Mountain gazelle Gazella gazella. Consequently Gazella arabica was based on a chimera and never existed as a distinct species in nature.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Specialist Group) (2003). Gazella arabica. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 29 December 2006.
  2. ^ The Arabian Gazelle on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Retrieved on 26 january 2010)
  3. ^ Bärmann EV, Börner S, Erpenbeck D, Rössner GE, Hebel C, Wörheide G (2012). "The curious case of Gazella arabica". Mammalian Biology. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2012.07.003. 

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