Thursday, December 29, 2016

Where are ewe headed?

In a world of infinite resources, we could do everything. That is not (yet) our world, though, so we have to make choices. These Desert Bighorn Sheep ask: "Which direction will ewe go in 2017?"

From the link above:
Desert bighorn sheep are stocky, heavy-bodied sheep, similar in size to mule deer. Weights of mature rams range from 115 to 280 pounds (55 to 90 kg), while ewes are somewhat smaller. Due to their unique concave elastic hooves,[3] bighorn are able to climb the steep, rocky terrain of the desert mountains with speed and agility. They rely on their keen eyesight to detect potential predators, such as mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats, and they use their climbing ability to escape.[4]

Both genders develop horns soon after birth, with horn growth continuing more or less throughout life. Older rams have impressive sets of curling horns measuring over three feet long with more than one foot of circumference at the base. The ewes' horns are much smaller and lighter and do not tend to curl. After eight years of growth, the horns of an adult ram may weigh more than 30 pounds.[3] Annual growth rings indicate the animal's age. The rams may rub their own horns to improve their field of view.[3] Both rams and ewes use their horns as tools to break open cactus, which they consume, and for fighting.[4]

Desert bighorn sheep typically live for 10–20 years.[5] The typical diet of a desert bighorn sheep is mainly grasses.[3] When grasses are unavailable, they turn to other food sources, such as sedges, forbs, or cacti.[3]

No comments:

Post a Comment