Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
AnimalsVenomous AnimalsArthropodsFishAmphibiansReptilesBirdsMammals
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Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)
pronghornDESCRIPTION: Overall tan or reddish-tan, with white on sides, rump, belly, chest, inner legs, cheeks, and lower jaw. Both sexes have black pronghorns, with the male's 12-20" (30-50cm) long and the female's only 3-4" (7.5-10cm) long at best.
NATURAL HISTORY: Herbivorous. Active both day and night. Form large herds during the winter, breaking into smaller herds (both bachelor male and small female herds) in summer. Mating system used is both female defense and resource defense polygyny (see Mating Systems below). The subspecies we have (A. a. sonoriensis) is federally endangered; factors negatively impacting their populations include habitat loss/alteration, fencing (they resist jumping over fences), and increased coyote predation on fawns (likely partly due to habitat alteration). Pronghorn are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and among the fastest in the world, attaining speeds of 45 mph (70 kph). Cheetah predation during the Pleistocene likely selected for their great speed (the cheetah's have since gone extinct in North America). Pronghorn run with their mouths open to force-feed air into their lungs for greater endurance.


MATING SYSTEMS

MONOGAMY: Having only a single mate during a breeding season. Ranges from single-season to lifetime monogamy.
POLYGAMY: Having more than one mate during a breeding season.

  • PROMISCUOUS: Both males and females have multiple mates during a breeding season.
  • POLYANDRY: One female mates with two or more males.
  • POLYGYNY: One male mates with two or more females.
    • FEMALE DEFENSE: Male defends and mates with a group of females, whereever they go.
    • RESOURCE DEFENSE: Male defends a resource (e.g., territory, food source, etc) and attempts to mate with females using the resource.
    • LEK: Males congregate in an area, and each male defends a very small, ritual territory, and female select male with which to mate.
    • SCRAMBLE: Males race around mating with as many females as they can.

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