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Pronghorn: Antilocapridae - Physical Characteristics

inches centimeters hair patches

Pronghorn measure 52.1 to 58.8 inches (132.3 to 149.4 centimeters) long and have a shoulder height of 32.7 to 37 inches (83.1 to 94 centimeters). They weigh 87 to 129 pounds (40 to 59 kilograms). These long-legged runners have stocky bodies, and their coat is various shades of brown on top, with sides and underparts creamy white. Males have brownish black patches from below the ears and downward 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 centimeters). Pronghorn have a short mane on the back of the neck, and their tails are short (4 inches, or 10.2 centimeters). The rump is covered by two patches of white hair. This animal is able to regulate the amount of insulation provided by its coat by erecting or flattening its hairs.

Both sexes have horns covered in keratin (KARE-ah-tin; protective material that makes up hair and fingernails). There are two branches, or prongs, one curving forward and another, shorter one pointing directly back. Males shed their horns every year; females shed them irregularly. Pronghorn have superb vision. Researchers believe that the placement of their eyes high on top of their skulls allows for them to keep a watch for predators while continuing to feed on lower-elevated grounds.

Pronghorn: Antilocapridae - Habitat [next]

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