Home
climate
Climate
adapting
Adapt
plants
Plants
animals
Animals
resources
Links
Home > Animals > Mammals
Species List | Site Map | Email | Copyright
Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
bighorn sheep

DESCRIPTION: Wt. up to about 300 lbs (140 kg) in males and up to about 200 lbs (90 kg) in females. Overall tan to brown with a conspicuous white rump patch. Males have large, curled horns whereas females have smaller horns that do not curl back under eyes like those in males.
NATURAL HISTORY: Herbivorous. Most active morning and late afternoon/evening (crepuscular), but may be active during the daytime (diurnal) also, especially during winter. Bighorn Sheep have adapted to the desert in many ways; one way is their ability to tolerate hyperthermia (see adaptation section). Normally their body temperature is 101 degrees, but they can tolerate body temperatures up to 107 degrees (42 degrees C). Prefer rocky habitats with steep slopes and cliffs to escape predators (e.g., Mountain Lions). Males butt heads to establish mating rights, and mating takes place during August and September. Except for bachelor males (who form their own small groups), they live in herds led by a dominant female.
Click on thumbnails below for more images:

female