Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pronghorn Antelope

During our wanderings searching for snakes and wildflowers, we came across some pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana). They might resemble deer from a distance, but they're a bit smaller than mule deer, have differently shaped horns, and a big white rump. Pronghorn are also the fastest creature in North America. In the world, only the cheetah is faster. 

Pronghorn have been around for a long time, and they probably evolved to be so fast to get away from predators that are now extinct--like the American cheetah. They are well-adapted to eat sagebrush and can digest it better than other ungulates.

Although pronghorn are really fast, they aren't good jumpers. When they come to a fence, they often go under it. It's a bit strange to watch a pronghorn crawl under a fence. You can learn lots more about this cool animal at Wikipedia

4 comments:

Caroline said...

Looks like they sat down on cotton balls! LOL Very cute.

The Incredible Woody said...

We saw a (singular) pronghorn on our trip west. But we were very excited!!

Anonymous said...

Did not know the piece of trivia regarding the lack of leaping skills. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for a pronghorn slipping under a fence.

UP

Gayle A. Robison, DVM said...

I showed the pronghorn pics to my assistant, who normally knows everything about everything (her mind is an even bigger trivia trap than mine) and she thought they were in Africa, and had no idea we had them in the US!

I told her yep, all over the West. And I have seen them in the Snake Valley in years past.

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