Pronghorn are beautiful, sleek creatures who run with amazing speed and grace. Pronghorn are often referred to as pronghorn antelope, however, they are not actually antelope, but rather the single, surviving member of the Antilocapridae family. Their scientific name is Antilocapra americana.
Pronghorn are the fastest land animal in north America running up to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain high speeds for longer than other high speed animals, such as the cheetah who is faster.
When out in the field pronghorn are easily identifiable with their bright white rumps and tan/cinnamon backs. They also have white markings on their stomach, face and necks--the markings on their necks are stripes. The white guard hairs on their rumps will extend and become more visible when they are startled or in danger. This acts as a warning device to let other members of their group know danger is near.
Their horns, for which they are named, are unique in that they tend to be short, growing up to around 12 inches for males and even shorter for females. Their horns point backwards and at the front there is a small prong--hence their name!
Pronghorn weigh between 95 pound females to 150 pound males. They tend to be around 3 feet tall and roughly 4 and a half feet long. Females tend to be smaller than males.
Pronghorn are herbivores; they eat a variety of grasses and forbs. In the basin and range, sagebrush, bitterbrush, rabbitbrush, saltbrush, Indian rice grass, and now even cheat grass make up a large portion of their diet. Their average life span is 10-12 years.
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