Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall migration

Jim and I once again had the pleasure of being at the right place at the right time today, as part of the Sublette pronghorn antelope herd came through in its major fall migration. This bunch had just swam the New Fork River, and came through the meadow next to our sheep herd. The burros bunched the sheep into one group and started moving them out of the way, while the dogs stayed between the two herds.

Beautiful animals - click on the photo for a larger view.


Retrieverman said...

Pronghorns are interesting creatures. They aren't actually antelope but belong to the Antilocapra genus and Antilocapridae family. Antilocapra means "Antelope-goat." The reason why they look anything like antelope is because both antelope and pronghorn evolved as grassland animals.

They are the fastest animal on the continent. It is believed that they were made this fast because the ancient North American "cheetah" (which was more closely related to the jaguarundi and cougar) preyed upon them. When this cheetah became extinct, the pronghorn retained its speed. Most North American predators have a hard time catching them, including people with guns.

There were once at least a dozen species of pronghorn. The remaining species is truly a unique North American animal, and one that has a wonderful conservancy:

Cat Urbigkit said...

My next children's book, due out next year, is all about pronghorn antelope. Called Path of the Pronghorn, it focuses on the Sublette herd I mentioned in this post.

Rachel Dickinson said...

I love this photo. Thanks for posting it.