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Pronghorn (Latin Antilocapra americana.) – The oldest representative of the detachment of North America cloven-hoofed animals, which appeared here in the Pliocene (5,3-2,5 million years ago.). Moreover, during the Pliocene and Pleistocene (2.5 million -.. 11.7 thousand years ago) in the family pronghorns were about 70 species.
Today, the whole of this large company to maintain a pronghorn, and he had almost disappeared in the early 20th century, when a multi-million population there are only some 20 thousand individuals. Fortunately, people just realized their mistake and banned uncontrolled hunting poor animals.
And no wonder, because the pronghorn – is unique in many ways. Take his hooked horns: on the one hand, those same antelopes, goats and bulls, they are common bony rods covered with horn covers. Because of this, even while pronghorns belongs to the family of bovids. Here are just Cavicorn wear them on the head all his life, and pronghorn changed every year. Yes Yes! They, just like the reindeer shed their antlers after the breeding season, to re-grow them for the next four months.
Thus, pronghorns can be considered a transitional link between a deer and antelope. The size and physique they are a bit like a deer – the same slender body and long, strong legs. the animal’s body length of 1-1.3 m, weight from 35 to 60 kg, the height at the shoulder -. 0.8-1 m trunk Top pronghorn painted in pale brown color, the bottom, the inner surface of the legs and rump are white. On the face of males have a black mask that covers their neck dark poluosheynik. Throat both sexes decorated with white crescent spot.
Horn males reach a length of 30 cm, they branch out as a fork (hence the name). Females are smaller nerazdvoennye horns, the length of which rarely exceeds the length of the ears.
Pronghorns have well-developed hearing, sight and smell. They are able to observe a subject that is on them at a distance of 6 km. If this is the thing worries them, animals notify relatives about the danger of a very interesting way: they ruffles the hair on his “mirror”, which immediately repeated by all the members of the flock. This unique signal visible over 4km, allowing watchful animals time to escape from the intruder.
And if pronghorn run, then catch up with him is not so easy – it is the strength except cheetah as pronghorn speed is the second largest in the world. His big heart, lungs and thick bulky trachea are ideally suited for fast running.
Curiously, the heart of male pronghorn is twice more than the heart of a male sheep from the size it. The normal rate for pronghorn 48 km / h and recorded the record was 88.5 km / h. However, at this rate the animal can run only 4-5 km, making jumps in length from three to six and a half meters. Right kangaroos some!
But this unique quality pronghorns not end there. They drink very little and for a few weeks can not go on a watering place, moisture content, which is in plants. By the way, they eat, among other things, poisonous shoots of shrubs and prickly cacti.