Pronghorns are beautiful animals that graze Montana’s countryside. But how much do you truly know about this breed of animal? Here we discuss the four top facts about North America’s pronghorns.
They’re not technically antelopes
Pronghorns are often called antelope, and indeed they do look much like their Eurasian and African cousins. However, pronghorns are a separate species, belonging to the taxonomic family Antilocapridae (in fact, they are the only surviving member of that family). They were given the “antelope” nickname by Lewis & Clark who compared them to the antelopes of Eurasia and Africa.
To keep their differences straight, just remember that pronghorns are native to North America, while antelopes are native to Eurasia and Africa.
Pronghorns have excellent vision
Did you know that pronghorns have the largest eyes of any hoofed North American mammal in relation to their body size? It’s true—their eyeballs measure about 1.4 inches in diameters and provide 300 degrees of vision. Their eyes are why pronghorns have such excellent vision. They can even see movement that’s 3 miles away.
You can find them in open prairies and deserts
As previously stated, pronghorns are native to North America. You can mainly find them in the open prairies and deserts of the western United States. They graze on a variety of plants and may also chew on shrubs, grasses, cacti, and domestic crops. They can also go weeks without water, getting hydration from the moisture in plants and crops.
Pronghorns live in large herds during the colder months
Once the temperatures begin to dip, pronghorns start to collect into large herds. These herds can number up to 1000 individual pronghorns. Breeding often occurs during this time, with does often gravitating towards the bucks with the most food and territory. Eight months later, during the late spring, the does will leave the herds to give birth and will return with heir fawns after two weeks.