Sunday

The Speed Demon of the American Plains



It's not an antelope or deer, in fact, there's nothing like it on earth.

It has horns instead of antlers.

Its eyesight is so keen, its vision is often compared to high-powered binoculars!

Its hair is hollow.

It runs as fast as a car on the highway; up to 55 miles per hour! Of all land animals, only the cheetah is faster

And it's only found in North America.....



This amazing animal is the Pronghorn!









Beautiful, isn't he?

His vision is not only far-seeing, but with his head perfectly still, he can see in almost a full circle around him...he has 320 degree vision! (We humans can only see 120 degrees around us.)

Check out how high up on the head the pronghorn's eyes are compared to a deer's...



Photo by Denver Bryan

Like the caribou, the pronghorn's hair is hollow and full of air to insulate him against extreme hot or cold weather. In cold countries, caribou fur is used to keep people warm, but pronghorn hides are useless for keeping warm. Their hair is loose and comes off the hide easily. In fact, while alive, pronghorns shed constantly.

So this animal is fast, almost impossible to sneak up on, and has insulating fur...is there anything a pronghorn can't do?

Yes, actually, there is.  Pronghorns aren't good at jumping; when they come to a fence, they prefer to crawl under it.


 Here they are all waiting their turn to get on the other side...



The adult pronghorn is so amazingly fast, that predators cannot outrun it, but they can easily catch baby pronghorns. 

Want to see a pronghorn run? Watch the video clip below:



Did you see how far the back legs come forward beyond the front ones, like a cheetah's? Wow  :)

Have you ever seen a pronghorn? Let me know by sending me a comment!




4 comments:

polaco said...

Amazing example of convergent evolution. I did not know that, investigating more it seems that they are more closely related to giraffes & okapis than to deer and antelopes. Thanks!

MessyJessy said...

Never seen one, loved reading about it! What an amazing animal!

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