A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep are incredible animals.  We saw the sheep in this photo when we visited Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  Bighorn sheep have special, split hooves.  These hooves allow them to walk easily along steep, rocky cliffs.  It is amazing to watch them walk narrow paths on the sides of a rocky mountain!  

The most amazing thing about a bighorn sheep is its horns.  Both male and female bighorn sheep have horns.  Grown males have a special curl to their horns.  These horns can weigh up to 50 pounds.  The horns grow as the sheep grow and become part of their massive skulls.

When the males fight for the attention of a female, they ram their heads together.  One ram will raise up on his back legs and charge full speed at the his competitor.  You can hear their head butts echoing across the mountains.  If humans butted their heads together like bighorn sheep, they would die in an instant!     

Male bighorn sheep are called rams.  The females are called ewes.  They eat grasses.  In the spring and summer, they live in small herds of ten or more.  In the winter the herds may number up to 100.

You can see bighorn sheep on steep mountain sides from Canada through the United States and into Mexico.

To learn more about Bighorn Sheep, check out these sites:

Here's a great coloring page for Bighorn Sheep: