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Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn Sheep
Mammal. Bighorn sheep live in herds or bands led by the dominant ewe (female). Bighorn rams (males) are famous for head-to-head combat to win over females. Horn size determines their status and fights occur only between rams with horns of similar size. They use their horns to smash into their opponents at speeds of 30 km (9 mi) per hour. With as many as five head clashes an hour, combat can last up to 25 hours or until one of the males gives up. Bighorn sheep can stand on mountain ledges as narrow as 5 cm (2 in) wide. They leap from ledge to ledge with great speed, and can jump across spans as wide as 6 meters (20 feet).
Scientific Name Lifespan
Ovis canadensis 15 years
Herbivore. Grasses, sedges, and forbs.
Predators and Threats
Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, bears, gray foxes, and humans.
Lives between the rocky slopes of mountainous terrain and open meadows; alpine meadows, temperate foothill regions of forests, low-lying scrubland, grasslands and deserts; Western United States.