Grassland Animals

Class: Mammalia: Mammals  Diet: Grass 
Order: Artiodactyla: Even-toed Ungulates 
Size: body: 1 - 1.5 m (3 1/4 - 5 ft), tail: 7.5 - 10 cm (3 - 4 in) 
Family: Antilocapridae: Pronghorn  Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Antilocapra americana Habitat: open prairie, desert 
Range: Central Canada, Western USA, Mexico 

Size of PronghornBoth male and female pronghorns have true, bony horns, although those of females are small and inconspicuous. The horns are covered with sheaths of specialized, fused hairs, and pronghorns are unique in that these sheaths are shed annually. The small, forward-pointing branch on each horn, the prong, is in fact part of this sheath. Range of PronghornOne of the fastest running mammals in North America, the pronghorn can achieve speeds of up to 65 km/h (40 mph). It is also a good swimmer. In summer, it moves in small, scattered groups but congregates in larger herds of up to 100 animals in winter. Pronghorns are active during the day but feed mostly in the morning and evening, taking grasses, weeds and shrubs such as sagebrush. White hairs on the pronghorn's rump become erect if the animal is alarmed and act as a warning signal to other pronghorns. Some males collect harems, fighting rival males for the privilege. The female gives birth to her young after a gestation of 230 to 240 days; there is usually only 1 in a female's first litter, but in subsequent years, she produces 2, or even 3, young. Only 4 days after birth, pronghorns can outrun humans. Pronghorns are now rare due to over-hunting, competition for food from domestic livestock and the destruction of their natural habitat.


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