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|© istockphoto.com/Michael Thompson
Fast Facts: Pronghorn
||35 to 70 kg
||90 cm at shoulder, horns up to 50 cm
Did you know?
The pronghorn can run up to 95 km/h, making it the fastest land mammal in North America.
Though the scientific name translates to “American antelope goat” the pronghorns
are in fact more deer-like and are the only animals having branched horns (not antlers).
The name “Pronghorn” comes from the odd shape of their horns – forward
facing prongs. Female horns are smaller than males. In the late fall or the beginning of
winter, the horns will break off to make room for the new ones already starting to grow
Pronghorns are very adapted to life in the grasslands. For example, the sandy colours
of their bodies provide some camouflage protection from the barren landscape of the flat
With large protruding eyes located further back on their head, they have a wide range of
vision so they can see when a predator is coming (up to 6 km away).
The most amazing part of it all is their endurance and speed. With long, skinny legs that
let them take larger strides, and a large heart and lungs that allow them more oxygen, the
pronghorns can last longer while running distances.
Pronghorns have a distinctive white patch on their rump that they bare to the herd if there
Pronghorns are roamers and like to feed off of the grasses and other shrubbery they live
near. Unlike cheetahs, pronghorns have good endurance even at high speeds. Their main predators
Unlike deer they cannot leap the fences that humans have been putting up around the grasslands,
and instead crawl underneath them. This reduction of their habitat is becoming a concern.
A breeding pronghorn’s first litter will be a fawn and then other litters will be
twins. Although some prefer to live alone, many stay in small groups in the summer and form
large herds during winter. Pronghorns are very active day and night, and tend to balance
their time between napping and eating.
Pronghorns roam the prairies of North America and were once numerous across the
Great Plains. In Canada, they reside in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Photos: Prairie Zone: Pronghorn