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The mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus), also known as the Rocky Mountain goat, is a large-hoofed mammal found only in North America. Despite its vernacular name, it is not a member of Capra, the genus that includes the wild goat, Capra aegagrus, from which the domestic goat is derived. A subalpine to alpine species, it is a sure-footed climber commonly seen on cliffs and ice.
2 General appearance and characteristics
3 Range and habitat
4 Movement patterns
6 Life cycle and mating
7 Aggressive behavior
9 See also
11 External links
The mountain goat is an even-toed ungulate of the order Artiodactyla and the family Bovidae that includes antelopes, gazelles, and cattle. It belongs to the subfamily Caprinae (goat-antelopes), along with 32 other species including true goats, sheep, the chamois, and the muskox. The mountain goat is the only species in the genus Oreamnos. The name Oreamnos is derived from the Greek term oros (stem ore-) "mountain" (or, alternatively, oreas "mountain nymph") and the word amnos "lamb".
General appearance and characteristics
Both male and female mountain goats have beards, short tails, and long black horns, 15�28 cm (5.9�11 in) in length, which contain yearly growth rings. They are protected from the elements by their woolly white double coats. The fine, dense wool of their undercoats is covered by an outer layer of longer, hollow hairs. In spring, mountain goats moult by rubbing against rocks and trees, with the adult bucks (males) shedding their extra wool first and the pregnant does (females) shedding last. In the winter, their coats help them to withstand temperatures as low as −50 �F (−46 �C) and winds of up to 100 mph (160 km/h).
A buck stands about 1 m (3.3 ft) at the shoulder to the waist and can weigh considerably more than the female (around 30% more in some cases). Male goats also have longer horns and longer beards than females. Mountain goats can weigh between 45 and 140 kg (99 and 310 lb), though even males will often weigh less than 82 kg (180 lb). The head-and-body length can range from 120�179 cm (47�70 in), with a small tail adding 10�20 cm (3.9�7.9 in).
The mountain goat's feet are well-suited for climbing steep, rocky slopes, sometimes with pitches of 60� or more, with inner pads that provide traction and cloven hooves that can be spread apart as needed. Also, the tips of their feet have dewclaws that are sharp to keep them from slipping.
Range and habitat
July 28th, 2013
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