Antilocapra Americana: Pronghorn TAXONOMY HABITAT

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TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder:Ruminantia
Family: Antilocapridae
Genus: Antilocapra
Species: Antilocapra
americana
Antilocapra Americana:
Pronghorn
LIFE CYCLE
& LIFE SPAN
In the late summer to early fall,
the male Pronghorns marks its
territory with droppings and
urine, and violently defends its
gathered harem of several does
to breed which it will breed with.
Gestation last 250 days, and
one to two fawns are born
weighing 4 to 12lbs. The
newborn fawns do not have an
odor and can lie motionless for
hours, which give them an
advantage over predators. After
2 weeks of nursing the fawns
join the rest of the herd grazing.
Sexual maturity begins at 17
months old and the Pronghorn
can live 10-12 years in the wild.
PHYLOGENY
Pronghorn are the sole living member of the
family Antilocapridae, an ancient deer-like
family dating back 20 million years.
INTERESTING FACTS
Pronghorns are native to North America and are
found nowhere else in the world. They are often
called “Prairie Ghost” because they are so
elusive. Males have a prominent pair of
branched horns on the top of the head, which
are made up of a keratinous sheath of hairlike
substance that grows around a bony core and
females have smaller barely visible straight
horns.
HABITAT
Pronghorns currently have
a scattered but
widespread distribution
throughout western North
America inhabiting
grasslands, open prairies,
and deserts. They feed on
cacti, grasses and shrubs.
Pronghorns are social
animals, gathering in
relatively large herds. In
spring, however, bucks are
alone or form small groups
and the does form their
own bands with their
young. Pronghorns have
the second longest
migration travel in the
Western Hemisphere,
seasonally trekking 100
miles.
Before Europeans arrived
to America, the population
of Pronghorns was at 35
million and by the 1920’s
the population had
decreased to 20,000.
With urbanization, the
range of land that
Pronghorn occupy has
severely diminished. There
are currently about 3,000
wild Pronghorns living in
the United States and 650
living in Mexico.
Pronghorns shed their horns after each
breeding season.
Pronghorns can change the angle of their body
hair by flexing muscles under their skin. In
the desert heat, their hairs stand straight up to
allow air to circulate. During chilly nights, the
hairs lie flat and smooth to keep out cold air.
When the pronghorn runs, its mouth is open so
it can breath in extra oxygen.
Pronghorns are relatively disease and parasite
free.
Acknowledgements:
By
Sylvia Esparza Acknowledgements:
http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/sonoran_pronghorn.php,
http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/sonoran_pronghorn.php,
By: Sylvia Esparza http://www.rw.ttu.edu/sp_accounts/Pronghorn%20Antelope%203/, http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/WWW/esis/lists/e052001.htm
http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/pronghorn.htm
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