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Bighorn Sheep

Ovis canadensis
Bighorn Sheep

Range

They are found in southwestern Canada south through the western U.S. and Rocky Mountain region to northern Mexico. They can be found in dry, rugged areas of Texas west to California.

Habitat

They live in the mountains in rocky, dry terrain and high desert.

Body Traits

They are brown with a lighter rump and tip of the nose. They have large, ridged, horns that curve around by the face. Both sexes have horns, though in males they grow much larger. Unlike antlers, horns are not shed yearly. They keep them throughout their lives and they keep growing from year to year. Males are larger than females in general and can reach 6 feet long and 300 pounds. They have hooved feet with thick pads made for traveling in rocky places.

Habits

They are active during the day (diurnal) and travel in big herds.

Diet

They eat grass and shrubs.

Predators

They are killed by mountain lions, wolves, and man.

Reproduction

Males compete for females by ramming heads with smashing blows. Females are pregnant for 6 months (gestation) and have 1 kid.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They can live more than 20 years, but usually less. They are listed as Lower Risk - conservation dependent.

Bighorn Sheep

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Ovis
Species: Ovis canadensis

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