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Encyclopedia > Pronghorn antelope
Pronghorn
Conservation status: Lower Risk

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Antilocapridae
Genus: Antilocapra
Species: americana
Binomial name
Antilocapra americana
Ord, 1815

The pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae, and the fastest land animal in North America running at speeds up to 54 mph (90 km/h). The pronghorn is also known as the pronghorn antelope, but is not a true antelope, and its horns are made up of a hairlike substance that grows around a bony core; the outer sheath is shed annually.


Pronghorn were brought to scientific notice by the Lewis and Clark Expedition which found them in present South Dakota, USA. The Pronghorn's range extends from southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada to Sonora and Baja California in Mexico. They live on both sides of the Rocky Mountains. Their eastern extent is generally bounded by the Missouri River in the United States. The subspecies known as the Sonoran pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) occurs in Arizona and Mexico.


Pronghorn live primarily in grasslands but also in brushland and deserts. Pronghorn eat cacti, grasses, forbs and browse plants.


Pronghorn newborns weigh 5 to 9 lb (2 to 4 kg) and are grey in color. Adult male pronghorn weigh 100 to 130 lb (45 to 60 kg) while females weigh 75 to 100 lb (35 to 45 kg). The main color of adults is brown or tan, with a white rump and belly and two white stripes on the throat. A short dark mane grows along the neck, and males also sport a black mask and black patches on the sides of the neck.


Male pronghorn have horns about 12 in (300 mm) long with a prong. Female horns are usually half that length and do not have a prong.


By 1908, hunting pressure had reduced the pronghorn population to an estimated 20,000. Protection of habitat and hunting restrictions have allowed them to recover to 2–3,000,000 pronghorn. Wolves, coyotes and bobcats are the major predators. Golden Eagles have been reported to prey on fawns.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Pronghorn (474 words)
Pronghorns are the only animals in the world who shed their horns annually.
The coloration of the pronghorn varies from light tan to a rich brown with prominent white patches under the stomach and on the rump.
The running gait of the pronghorn is beautifully smooth and their powerful legs can carry them at a remarkable pace across the roughest kind of terrain.
Pronghorn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (486 words)
The pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae, and the fastest land animal in North America running at speeds of 54 mph (90 km/h).
The pronghorn is also known as the pronghorn antelope, but is not a true antelope, and its horns are made up of a hairlike substance that grows around a bony core; the outer sheath is shed annually.
Pronghorns have a distinct, musky odor and are commonly called "Prairie Goats" or simply "goats" for this reason (as well as their resemblance to domesticated goats.) The pronghorn is one of the fastest land animals, being second only to the cheetah.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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