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Dimensions3814 x 1907
Original file size6.16 MB
Image typeJPEG

Desert bighorn sheep are stocky, heavy-bodied sheep, similar in size to mule deer. Weights of mature rams range from 115 to 280 pounds, while ewes are somewhat smaller. Due to their unique concave elastic hooves,bighorn are able to climb the steep, rocky terrain of the desert mountains with speed and agility. They rely on their keen eyesight to detect potential predators, such as mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats, and they use their climbing ability to escape. Horn size is a symbol of rank among males. Many rams break off the ends of their horns (called "brooming"), often during horn clashes for dominance. Ewes are smaller than rams and have shorter, less massive horns that never exceed half a curl.