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Other Mammals of Yellowstone - J Zumbo

Pronghorn
0 These are the fastest mammals in North America, capable of running at speeds in excess of 55 mph. They also have tremendous vision, equal to that of a powerful telescope. Unlike other animals that seek heavy vegetation for escape cover, pronghorns are more secure in the open where their superior eyesight allows them to spot danger at long distances. These animals are tough, able to withstand ferocious prairie blizzards without seeking shelter. They're tolerant to severe cold because their hair Is hollow, offering more insulation in strong winds. Pronghorn are unique in that they rarely jump fences, unlike all other large hoofed mammals. Instead, they go under the bottom wire, or find a spot where the fence has been damaged, allowing them to get through.

Pronghorn are found in sizable herds throughout the west with the exception of Washington. They're fond of sagebrush prairies, but are also quite happy in lush alfalfa fields. The only place you'll regularly see them in Yellowstone Is in the area between Gardiner and Mammoth. Outside Yellowstone, look for them along 1-15 north and south of Dillon, Montana; in the desert and farmland country around dark, Wyoming; and along the highway between Cody and Thermopolis, Wyoming.

Mountain Goats

These amazing animals inhabit the most precarious terrain in North America. Mountain goats are strictly high-altitude residents, preferring to live in and around sheer rock walls and cliffs where they seemingly dely gravity. Pure white In color, the goats are easy to spot in the summer. Conversely, they're almost impossible to see in the winter when they blend in with snow. Females are called nannies; males are billies. Both sexes have black horns that are seven to nine inches in length. Typically, a billy's horns are a bit thicker than those of the female. Goats are very rare In Yellowstone, but you can see them quite frequently along the Beartooth Highway in Wyoming and Montana.

"The Essenstials for Planning your
Trip to Yellowstone Park"
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Mountain Lions
These large cats roam throughout the west, and lately have been causing problems in urban areas. Increased attacks on humans and pets most likely are because of civilization's encroachment into habitat normally occupied by lions. In the Yellowstone area, mountain lions, also known as cougars, are residents of the backcountry and are rarely seen. These predators may weigh up to 170 pounds and reach lengths of eight feet from nose to tail. Males are larger than females. Lions are meat-eaters and prefer their menu fresh. Deer are among their favorite prey species, but they'll also catch other animals such as beavers, rabbits, porcupines and various rodents. Contrary to popular belief, lions do not ambush their prey from a tree limb as the hapless quarry walks underneath. Instead, the cat makes an incredibly stealthy stalk, using vegetation as screening cover. When it's just a short distance away, the lion makes a quick charge and either catches the prey in the first few bounds or misses it. During long chases, deer can usually outrun a lion, but the Initial surprise attack is a most successful strategy. Seeing a lion anywhere in the west is cause for great celebration. Don't expect to see one, but if you do, consider yourself very fortunate. Typically, lions dwell in places where there are plenty of deer.

 

 

 


For more information on Yellowstone National Park and
the surrounding communities visit these helpful sites:

YellowstoneNationalPark.com
- YellowstoneLodging.com
YellowstoneFlyFishing.com


Copyright @1999-2013 Yellowstone Media

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