Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/52654

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Artiodactyla
Family:Bovidae
Genus:Ovis
Genus species:Ovis canadensis

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:168-186 cm
Height:94-110 cm
Weight:57-140 kg
Identification:The American bighorn sheep is brown with white rump patches. Both sexes have horns; however, males have larger and more spiraled horns.
Habitat:High mountain pastures
Diet:Herbivore: grass, young plants and flowers
Reproduction:Females gestate for 175 days before giving birth to one or two lambs. The average lifespan of bighorn sheep is nine years, but some have lived as long as 24 years.
During the summer, American bighorn sheep usually graze independently. Mixed herds form in the winter.
Behavior:The American bighorn sheep is active by day, feeding early morning, midday and evening; it lies down and chews its cud at other times and retires to bedding spots for the night.
Status:Lower risk; conservation dependent
Interesting Facts:The American bighorn sheep has hooves that are hard on the outer edge and spongy in the center, providing good traction even on sheer rock. The American bighorn sheep has always been prized for its meat; the horns were used by the Shoshone and Gros Ventre tribes to make powerful bows and are still prized by hunters as trophies.

Other Information

Geographic:Central North America Date:1958-1988 Subjects:even-toed ungulate
American bighorn sheep
Bighorn sheep
Mountain sheep
Ovis
Sheep
Bovidae
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata
Ruminants
Ungulates