Pronghorn Antelope

Did you know that pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) aren’t actually antelope? Rather, they are descendants of an ancient deer-like family. Running at speeds of up to 60 miles-per-hour, they are the second fastest land mammal on planet Earth. The origin of their speed has been traced back to around 7 million years ago or so when they lived alongside a cheetah-like cat. To survive, pronghorn needed to be able to move fast. Today, there aren’t any predators in North America that are able to keep pace with the antelope.

Pronghorn can be found throughout most of Nevada. They prefer wide-open habitats that allow them to easily evade predators when needed. In general, they can be found in grasslands, sagebrush, and desert valleys between mountain ranges.

Their distinct features set them apart from other wildlife in Nevada. Their reddish-brown and white coats help them blend in with their surroundings. When startled, however, the white fur on their rump stands on end, sending a warning signal that can be seen for miles! Males and females both sport “horns,” making it difficult to differentiate between sexes. In general, a female’s horns (1 – 6 in.) are smaller than a male’s (5 – 17 in.) and males have a dark patch of fur along the back side of its mandible.

Denise Peterson

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *