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Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat

This large, impressive Mountain Goat resides at the Calgary Zoo, in the Canadian Wilds area.

"The Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus), also known as the Rocky Mountain Goat, is a large hoofed mammal found only in North America. Despite its name, it is not a true goat, as it belongs to a different genus. It resides at high elevations and is a sure-footed climber, often resting on rocky cliffs that predators cannot reach.

Both male and female mountain goats have beards, short tails, and long black horns, 15-28 cm in length, which contain yearly growth rings. They are protected from the elements by their woolly white double coats. The fine, dense wool of their undercoats is covered by an outer layer of longer, hollow hairs. In warmer seasons, mountain goats molt by rubbing against rocks and trees, with the adult billies (males) shedding their extra wool first and the pregnant nannies (females) shedding last. In the winter, their coats help them to withstand temperatures as low as -50 Fahrenheit (-46 Celsius) and winds of up to 100 mph (161 km/h).

A billy stands about 1 meter (3’3") at the shoulder and weighs about 90 kg (200 lb.). It has longer horns and a longer beard than the nanny. Adult males typically weigh between 45 and 100 kg, while females are usually 10-30% lighter.

The mountain goat’s feet are well-suited for climbing steep, rocky slopes, sometimes with pitches of 60 degrees or more, with inner pads that provide traction and cloven hooves that can spread apart as needed. Dewclaws on the back of their feet also help to keep them from slipping."

Posted by annkelliott

Tagged: , Calgary , Alberta , Canada , Calgary Zoo , nature , wildlife , animal , native , Mountain Goat , Rocky Mountain Goat , Oreamnos americanus , family Bovidae , ungulate , IMG_5364 , annkelliott , FlickrDiamond , DiamondClassPhotographer , Explore , interestingness#483 , explore2007November3

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