The rocky mountain goat, aka the mountain goat, is more than at home among the steep mountainous cliffs. With strong legs and split padded hooves they navigate effortlessly over the rugged terrain they call home. These goats can be spotted from Alaska all the way down through the rocky mountains, in alpine and sub alpine environments at elevations of over 13,000 feet! These critters can scale 1,500 feet in around 20 minutes! That’s taller than the Empire State Building!
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Oreamnos americanus
Weight: Up to 300+ lbs.
Length: Up to 78 inches
Height: Up to 3.5 feet
Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) One interesting fact is that mountain goats are not actually goats at all. They are more closely related to antelope and are a member of the bovidae (cloven-hoofed) family.
2.) Like others in their family, they are herbivores (eat plant matter) that consume herbs, grasses, sedges, mosses, lichens, ferns, twigs, and leaves.
3.) Like cows and a variety of other herbivores, they will engage in rumination, aka – chew their cud (regurgitated plant matter from their stomach). Mmm, tasty.
4.) Both males and females sport horns that can grow up to 12 inches.
5.) The meat from a goat is called cabrito or chevon.
But wait, there’s more on the rocky mountain goat!
6.) You can count how old a goat is by the rings on their horns.
7.) Females are called nannies, males are called billies, and their babies are called kids.
Did you know…?
These critters can leap at distances of over 12 feet!
8.) Females live in what are called bands or herds with their kids. Males live in smaller groups of 2 – 3.
9.) Their primary predators are mountain lions, bobcats, and golden eagles.
10.) Rocky mountain goats can be very aggressive towards humans. So keep your distance, if you see one in the wild.
But wait, there’s still more on the rocky mountain goat!
11.) The females birth 1 – 2 kids each spring season.
12.) After only 1 – 2 days of being born, the young goats are already hopping around rocky ledges with mom.
Now a Short Rocky Mountain Goat Video!
Also, check out the Critter Science YouTube channel. Videos added frequently!
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