Male bighorn sheep ‘ram’ is the mountain-dwelling animal that belongs to bovine family. Check out some interesting facts about rams here.
Bighorn sheep are the mountain-dwelling animals typically with impressively big, curved horns. These bovines are associated with bison, antelopes, goats, cattle, and buffalo. They are distinguished by their long fur and split hooves. The male bighorn sheeps are called ‘rams’ and the female bighorn sheeps are ‘ewes’.
They generally dwell in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, ranging from Mexico, northward across the western United States and into Canada. The desert bighorn sheep live in the Death Valley, California; Nevada, Texas and northern Mexico.
Here are some interesting facts about the male bighorn sheep ‘ram’.
The big, curved horns borne by rams (male bighorn sheep) gives ‘bighorn sheep’ its name. The female bighorn sheep or ewe also has horns but they are shorter and less curved.
Rams usually have a height of about 5-6 feet from head to tail. And, they weigh from 262-300 lbs (119-136 kg). Their horns weigh as much as the rest of the bones in their bodies.
The horns of the Rocky Mountain bighorn rams are so large that they weigh much more than all the bones in their bodies.
While the lifespan of a ram is 9-12 years, its female counterpart ewe has a lifespan of around 10-14 years.
Rams usually feed on grass, seeds, and plants. Their undergo change in diet according to the season. During summer season, they have sedges or grass. And in winter season, they feed on woody plants like willow, rabbitbrush and sage. Also, the eating habits also vary depending on the subspecies. The desert bighorns eat plants that are found in their region like desert holly and desert cactus.
Bighorn sheeps have a great eyesight that allows them in making sound judgement while jumping and keeping an eye on animals even a mile away. They have balance-aiding split hooves and rough hoof bottoms for gaining mountain footholds.
To fight for their dominance or mating rights, the rams use their horns as a weapon or symbol of status in epic battles across the Rocky Mountains. The male and female herds live separately. The female-only herds live in nursery herds having adult ewes and labs of both genders. The male-only herds usually have 5-50 rams at one time.
The males charge as fast as 20-40 mph. They rear up on their hind legs, ram their large horns and hurl each other during the fight. Their big horn cores, enlarged cornual and frontal sinuses, and internal bony septa protect their brain by absorbing the impact of clashes. Eventually, one ram ends up giving in and emerges as the new leader.
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