Pronghorn is the American antelopeAntilocapra americana that belongs to the family Antilocapridae and is the only surviving member of its family. However, they don't belong to the antelope and goat family, but the scientific name means American goat-antelope.
Pronghorn present in North America and also known as
Males are larger and heavier. The average body size is 80–100 cm, and the body weight is an average of 50-65 kg.
Pronghorn antelope has a deer-like body which is reddish-brown with chest, belly, rumps and inner legs are white.
A black mask from eyes to snout is present in males. The males are also differentiated from females as they have black patches on the neck.
Pronghorn have large eyes and acute vision and can see the danger even from 1 km away.
Pronghorn have branched horns, not antlers, and they shed their horns each year. The horns curved to form forward pointed prongs. The horns are made of the permanent core, which is a slender, flattened bone, and a keratinous sheath covers the permanent core. Winter is the horn growing season.
Both males and females have horns; male horns are curved towards each other and are lyre-shaped and 12 inches long. The female pronghorn horns are straight spikes and are only 4 inches long.
Pronghorn, a hoofed mammal, has two long, cushioned, pointed toes. Pronghorn hooves are with no dewclaws. Pronghorn antelope is the fastest animal in the Western Hemisphere and can acquire a speed upto 70 km per hour. The longer windpipe, lungs allow them to take in more oxygen while running. Their mouths are open while running, and they can not jump but run at a faster speed.
Grasslands, brushlands, and deserts are the favorite habitat of pronghorn. However, pronghorns mostly prefer the areas near the water source. American antelope pronghorn live in herds, and the herd density changes according to season. In summers, the herd is small, with dozens of individuals, while winter herds are larger.
They are widely distributed in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, western Texas, southern Idaho, southeastern Oregon, southern Saskatchewan, northern Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, north Baja California Sur.
Pronghorn antelope are herbivores, and being ruminants, they chew their cud. The diet may vary according to season and may include,
The mating occurs in late summer and early fall. Males fight over females and mate with more than one female. Females give birth to one or two young in spring. Adult pronghorns have a distinctive musky odor, while fawns are odorless. The pronghorns shed their horns in mating season.
Pronghorns attain sexual maturity at 15 to 16 months, and the average life span is 15 years.
The most common predators that prey upon pronghorn from time to time are,
Pronghorn are simply the “speed goats” with prodigious eyesight, kinetic velocity, and marathoners' stamina. Pronghorn hunting can be done either with a rifle or with a bow. The archery seasons begin in early September.
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