Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pronghorns Mating - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

The Pronghorn fawn seems to be taking it all in. The drive to reproduce is one of nature's strongest. This Pronghorn buck set up and defended his territory against other males for this one goal.

Pronghorns mate in September and give birth about the first of June. Twins are most common and young female pronghorns can mate when they are about sixteen months old, which gives Pronghorns the ability to rapidly increase their population if conditions are favorable.

Wolves in Yellowstone have decreased the Elk numbers and the Pronghorns have benefited from the availability of more food. The Pronghorn bucks have been growing larger horns in the last few years, because of better nutrition.

Pronghorns are the only hollow horned mammal to annually shed their horns. The outer covering of this buck's horn will fall off in late October and will replaced by new growth next summer. The horn is composed of tightly fused hair.

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