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The Pronghorn Antelope, the sole surviving member of the Antilocapradae family, derives its name from its uncanny similarity to the African antelope. With its long, upright horns, slender body and ability to process oxygen at an extraordinarily high rate, it is uniquely built for speed.
Considered the fastest land animal in North America, the pronghorn can reach speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour - a stealth advantage when eluding predators. But its true gift is its endurance. Unlike the cheetah, which is considered as sprinter, the pronghorn can cruise comfortably at 30 miles per hour for long distances at a time.
But speed and agility has still not assured the pronghorn's survival. According to the National Park Service, less than 1,000 pronghorn currently migrate through the Yellowstone area. Researchers estimate that as many as 40,000 once roamed North America. Even though pronghorn is extremely adaptable animal to climate and can be found in open grasslands, deserts and brush lands from Canada to Mexico, the pronghorn's numbers remain low. Yellowstone's protected parklands have helped stem the dwindling numbers.
Unlike most horned animals, the pronghorn sheds and regrows its horns each year. Primarily tan or brown in color with a white belly and chest, pronghorn normally weighs around 135 lbs. It tends to graze alone or in small numbers, but can often be seen in herds during the winter.
The pronghorn favors the hillsides and flats near North Gate. The area between Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner, Montana is a favorite grazing area, as are Lamar Valley and Specimen Ridge, in the northeastern area of the park.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Compass American Guides: Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, 1st Edition by Brian Kevin. Fodor's Compass American Guides have a new design and practical information you need to make the most of your visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Easy-to-use practical information you need to get around and experience the best of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Order now...
The Concise Visitor's Guide to Yellowstone by Matt Bolton. Sized perfectly for backpacks this guide offers specifics on food, what to see, children's activities, weather, wildlife, seasonal road closures, ranger programs, visitor centers, what differentiates each section of the park and more. Filled with information, phone numbers, web sites, and detailed maps this is the tool to use when planning a trip to Yellowstone. Order now...
Moon Spotlight Yellowstone National Park by Don Pitcher. 80-page compact guide covering must-see attractions and maps with sightseeing highlights. This lightweight guide is packed with recommendations on sights, entertainment, shopping, recreations, accommodations, food, and transportation, as well as easy-to-read maps. Order now...
National Geographic Park Profiles: Yellowstone Country by Seymour L. Fishbein. Yellowstone Country tours the stunning region that includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, a mosaic of national forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, countless waterfalls, hot springs and two-thirds of the world's active geysers. Order now...
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