West Caucasian mountain tours inhabit the ridges of the Caucasus. Coat - not long, suit - reddish.
The pride of all the rounds - massive, slightly curved horns, which are directed to the side.
Their ribbed surface, formed along the entire length by transverse hollows, looks extraordinarily beautiful.
Unfortunately, these beautiful large animals (the weight of an adult goat reaches one centner, and growth at the withers - up to 110 centimeters) are currently on the verge of extinction. Worldwide, there are less than 10 thousand representatives of this species.
East Caucasian Tour
The East Caucasian, or Dagestan, tour is distributed in the mountains of Russia (Republic of Dagestan), Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Its distinctive feature is the semi-spiral horns. Color - beautiful nut color. The coat is short and thick. These tours are smaller than their western counterparts. Goats can weigh up to 90, and goats - up to 60 kilograms.
Tour Severtsova lives in the western part of the Caucasus Mountains.
From the first two subspecies, it is distinguished by not so massive horns, as well as thicker and harder wool.
These animals have long been a valuable hunting trophy; therefore, special conservation and permissive services monitor their shooting.
Another name is Markhor. These are perhaps the most exotic and beautiful representatives of wild mountain goats.
These animals owe their name to a special form of straight horns that look like a corkscrew screw. An adult goat can weigh up to 90 kilograms and grow at the withers up to one and a half meters. The length of its horns is comparable to the growth of the animal itself. It is noteworthy that the horns of females are small and inconspicuous, only 30 centimeters in length. The main coat is short, only on the beard and in the chest area is the coat long.
The horned goat's belly is distinguished by a lighter coloring than the main suit. Habitat - mountain ranges of Tibet, the Himalayas, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Due to active hunting, these goats are currently protected animals.
This population of mountain goats is very interesting.
Their horns have an original saber shape.
Along the entire length, they are decorated with seals, similar to rollers, and the shape of the cross-section is triangular. The exterior of Capricorns resemble tours. The subspecies of these animals are divided not only by external differences, but also by geography.
This subspecies differs from the rest of Capricorn with the most beautiful horns. Dimensions it is less than the rest of the mountain goats. The color is brown-sandy, with white knees and black markings all over the body. Also highlights the Nubian goats thick and beautiful beard. As the name implies, these animals live in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Very rare subspecies of these animals. You can meet them in the mountains of Piedmont and Savoy. Sizes - large. An adult goat can weigh up to one centner. Females - much smaller (up to 40 kg). The horns of Ibex are arcuate, they are one meter in length, and they can weigh from 10 to 15 kilograms. The color of the males is dark brown, and the females are reddish-golden. Interestingly, in the winter, both goats and goats of this species change their color to gray.
Siberian ibex is a rare species of mountain goats that is not on the verge of extinction.
Distinctive features of the appearance - long legs, short tail and a characteristic small beard. The horns are strongly bent backwards and can grow in length more than one meter.
Habitat - mountain ranges of Russia, India and Afghanistan. Remarkable is the fact that the males all the time, except for the mating period, live separately from the females, in the so-called “herds of bachelors”.
Siberian Mountain Goat
A striking feature of this subspecies is its suit. The neck and back of these animals are light, and the belly, legs and front of the head are dark resinous. The live weight of an adult goat does not exceed 80 kilograms. The horns of ibex are the thinnest among all mountain goats and have a beautiful lyre form.
These goats live in the Iberian Islands and in the mountainous regions of Spain.
All mountain goats are favorite hunting trophies because of the skins of good quality and completely edible meat, but the main goal of any hunter is their horns, which people like to decorate their homes. The high level of adaptability of mountain goats to life in captivity allowed our ancestors to domesticate these animals.
Until now, by breeding wild mountain goats with domestic goats, healthy offspring can be obtained.
The animal like the snow goat stands apart.
These wild mountain goats, although they are close to mountain goats, but form a separate biological species, consisting only of them.
They differ from wild mountain goats by their peculiar exterior, which is their hallmark. To confuse this animal with other species is impossible.
The mountain goat is distinguished by impressive dimensions: growth at the withers is from 90 to 105 centimeters, live weight is from 85 to 135 kilograms, however, because of the very thick and long hair, they look even more impressive. Weakly bent horns are small and smooth, resemble the horns of domestic goats, and never grow to the size typical of mountain goats.
A distinctive feature of these animals is also a square muzzle, short and massive neck and strong thick legs. The tail is short. Wool and down mountain goats - unusually thick.
It seems that these animals are dressed in fur coats.
In the summer, the length of the coat, similar to fur, is rather short, and the structure resembles a tightly knit velvet. In winter, the wool grows heavily and begins to hang like a thick fringe. On the brim the wool forms a beard. The color (regardless of the season) is white or slightly grayish, and the color of the hooves is black.
A curious feature of these animals is that their horns can change their color! In winter, they are thick black, and in summer they brighten and turn gray. Both goats and goats look almost the same, except that males are slightly larger and have a more dense constitution.
This mountain goat lives only in one place.
This is the Rocky Mountains of North America.
To meet her, will have to climb to a height of three kilometers. Previously, these animals could be seen throughout the entire mountain range, but now people have driven them into protected areas and remote areas. Snow goats are sedentary animals, therefore they live in relatively small limited territories. They never enter forests, preferring bare rocks and patches of mountain meadows, and also occasionally visit saline.
Three main differences in the behavior of mountain goats from mountain goats:
- they never get together in large herds, preferring to live alone or in groups of two or four individuals,
- the main ones are always females, and the males obey them,
- mountain goats - rather inactive. They do not jump and do not run over the rocks, like mountain goats, preferring unhurried movement. However, they are excellent climbers. Despite their large size, these animals can use the smallest stones as a support, often climbing up the so-called "climber's dead ends" - ledges, from which it seems impossible to get down. In such cases, they easily jump from a height of 6-7 meters, and if they do not fall on a stable platform, they push off from any stone and jump further. And during the buckle, they are able to turn around 60 degrees!
Another interesting fact from the life of these wonderful animals is that the weaker individuals, demonstrating their submission, are kneeling before the strong ones!
Description of the species
Mountain goats belong to the genus of artiodactyls from the horned family. In general, all breeds have similar characteristics, but there are some distinguishing nuances.
Mountain goats are rather large animals. The length of the body of an adult individual reaches 120-180 cm in length, and its height is about 100 cm. The weight of the female varies from 40 to 60 kilograms, while the goat weighs much more - up to 160 kilograms. The trunk is strong, but the legs are very short. The tail is short and at its end there are glands that secrete a very specific smell. Hooves narrow, but incredibly strong. They can easily run on mountain rocks. But with all this - they give the impression of incredibly graceful animals.
Their coat is short, but very thick and perfectly protects from cold weather. Coat color monotonous: gray, black, sometimes white.
The first thing everyone pays attention to and what is their distinguishing feature is the horns. They are available in both females and males. In females they are small, their length reaches a maximum of 15-18 cm, but in goats they are huge, often wrapped in a spiral and up to one meter long. The age of the animal can also be set according to the shape of the horns. In young people, they are more like an arc, but the older they get, the more curved they are.
You can meet mountain goats only in the Northern Hemisphere, in the so-called Old World - Asia, Europe and North Africa. They like to settle at high altitude, most often it is 1500-4500 meters. They prefer a sedentary lifestyle, although a harsh and cold winter can cause them to descend down into valleys and foothills. They live in herds of 20-30 individuals, although in summer they are often divided into small groups of 6-7 individuals.
They are incredibly agile and fast, they move easily over rocks, they are balanced almost on a vertical surface. They are also very cautious and warn others of the danger in advance, with a special subtle bleating.
In food, animals are not whimsical at all and can eat even poisonous grass. Very fond of alpine herbs, especially bluegrass and fescue.
Salt is simply necessary for these animals, so very often they walk about 20 kilometers to visit the salt beds.
It is difficult to call them prolific; offspring are brought only once a year. Often this happens at the end of autumn - the beginning of winter. A female’s pregnancy lasts about 150 to 180 days. Mostly born 1-2 kid. Kids are very persistent and after a couple of hours can stand on their own feet. But since they are still very small and cannot move around the slopes so cleverly as their adult relatives, they spend the first week in a secluded place with their mother. Fully grown-up and ready for independent living, they become 1-1.5 months old. Sexual maturity comes in the second year of life. Life expectancy in the wild is 5-10 years, and in captivity it reaches 12-15 years.
Among scholars, the dispute still does not abate, how many rocks actually exist. Some argue that there are only three of them with many subspecies, others, on the contrary, are sure that no less than ten. Please note that mountain goats also have much in common with mountain sheep. This is due to their relationship. Also to distant relatives include gore and mountain goats.
In general, there are three rocks with several subspecies:
- Horned goat,
- Caucasian mountain tour: Kuban, tour of Severtsov and East Caucasus,
- Capricorn: Siberian, Nubian and Pyrenean.
As mentioned above, they are all very similar, but there are differences that are known only to professionals.
Caucasus Mountain Tour
As it is easy to guess, the Caucasian goats live in the Caucasus mountains. The tour is a very attractive animal, has a slightly reddish short hair. The horns of these goats are large, diverge slightly to the sides and have a very elegant bend. The horns are very ribbed, with a large number of transverse grooves.
The Caucasian mountain tour is very massive and the adult male weighs about 100 kilograms and reaches 110 centimeters in height. Females have a torso shorter, and are significantly inferior to the male in height.
Please note that the Caucasus mountain tour is currently on the verge of extinction. Worldwide, there are no more than ten thousand individuals. That is why they are assigned a special status of "In danger".
Kuban tour, which is a subtype of Caucasian is listed in the Red Book. All three subspecies inhabit the mountains of the Caucasus, mainly in the western and eastern regions.
Capricorns have an incredible shape of horns, which is very similar to the sword. The appearance is very reminiscent of mountain tours. First of all, they include the Alpine mountain goat or, as it is also called, Ibex, which lives in the mountains between Piedmont and Savoy. To ibex also include Siberian, Nubian and Pyrenean mountain goats. Capricorns are very many in nature, they easily multiply and perfectly interbreed with other breeds.
Capricorns as a whole is a bit smaller than the Caucasian tours. Color sand, with brown tint. Males have a thick beard. Most often they can be found in Afghanistan, Russia and India.
Unlike the Caucasian type, Capricorns love solitude. Sometimes males form pairs, but often live in splendid isolation.
These mountain animals are incredibly beautiful and even in captivity have a luxurious, noble appearance.
General characteristics of the animal
Mountain goats are considered very dexterous creatures. The ability to move quickly along narrow mountain paths and climb steep rocks on sharp stones has always amazed.
Such a quick goat is obliged to the structure of the hoof. Due to the evolution, a peculiar pad was formed on the sole. The surface of this "device" is regularly updated and does not grow coarse. As soon as the mountaineer goat lowers his foot to the surface, the small pillow flows around the stone, repeats the relief and “sticks” to the rock.
Artiodactyls have an excellent sense of balance. Vision is excellent - the animal sees all the irregularities on the rock. If the foot has become on a small stone in size, the horned "climber" will quickly push off and jump further.
Attention! A goat who lives in the mountains is not able to run fast and far. If danger appears in sight, he quickly climbs to a height beyond the reach of a predator.
All breeds are similar. Appearance is described as follows:
- They are medium sized animals. Females weigh 45-50 kg, males reach 160 kg.
- The height of goats is up to 1 m, the body length reaches 1.5 m. Females are slightly less.
- Wool is not long, but very thick. Well protects animals from cold.
The main difference between males and females is horns. In males reach the meter length and over the years bent, which makes it possible to approximately determine the age. In goats, only about 30 cm. Inside the horn is a void, therefore, according to the classification, their owners belong to the family of bovids.
Under natural conditions, mountain goats can only be found in the Northern Hemisphere: in Europe, Asia and North America. Herds of 20-30 individuals live in mountainous areas at an altitude of 1500-4500m.
The species is related to such inhabitants of the rocky areas as mountain sheep and snow goats.
All varieties are similar and are distinguished only by professionals. Zoologists described 3 breeds of mountaineer goats:
Those, in turn, are divided into 8 subspecies.
- Caucasian mountain tour. The species is divided into 3 subtypes: Kuban, East Caucasian goat, tour of Severtsov. Animals live in the western and eastern regions of the Caucasus Mountains. The horns of such goats are large, beautifully curved. There are many transverse grooves on them. Wool is short, red color.
- Capricorns. Representatives of the subspecies are distinguished by characteristic horns resembling Turkish yataghans. In section, these hollow devices are triangular in shape. The coat color is sandy with gray markings. Capricorns include: Nubian goat, ibex, Pyrenean and Siberian.
- Horned goat. The breed is represented by one subspecies, with unique horns screwed in like a corkscrew. The height of the animal reaches one and a half meters. The horns are about the same length. The coat of Markhor, also known as the grape's handsome man, is also different from other varieties. The back is covered with short fibers, and the beard and chest are long, up to 30 cm.
The inhabitants of the rocks eat plant food. In the course are grass, shrubs, tree bark. An important element of the diet is salt. Her animals lick off the ledges in places salt marshes. Goats and goats live in herds of 20-30 individuals, but some species prefer solitary existence, for example, representatives of ibex. In the summer period, herds rise to the mountains to a height of up to 4 thousand meters. In winter, in order to escape from frost and cold winds, they descend below.
The mating season comes in the spring. At this time between the males are fighting for the right to own "beautiful ladies." Tournament participants face horns and try to knock each other off their feet. The winning goat covers females.
Bearing takes 5-6 months. Newborn kids quickly become on their feet and are ready to follow their mother on the rocks. Goats live in nature up to 10 years. In zoos, the term is increased to 15.
Goats that live high in the mountains are amazing animals. Any climber will envy their ability to climb rocks. К сожалению, все разновидности страдают от стремления алчных людей добыть себе шкуру или красивые рога, вследствие чего некоторые из них находятся на грани вымирания.
Горные козлы и их описание
Как и любые другие животные, горные козлы выживают в тех условиях, к которым приспособилось их семейство. Территория им досталась не самая приятная, ведь приходиться добывать небольшие клочки растительности в горной местности, которые часто находятся на отвесных скалах. Animals have adapted well to this kind of life, so it is sometimes surprising how a goat of plump size can climb steep walls. Distant ancestors of this species animals bezoar goat, which also differed endurance. In relationship with mountain goats are sheep, gorals, salnama and snow goats.
Wild goats are often called graceful animals, because they have a dense and folded body, and this is especially true for females. The sizes of females reach 100–180 cm in length and 70–100 cm in height. Weight ranges from 30 to 60 kilograms. Male by weight they can reach 155 kg, but this does not prevent them from climbing on the slopes of mountains with ease. The horns are thin and curved. The older the animal, the longer its horns, and in males they can wrap themselves in a spiral like a ram's horn.
A feature of these animals are hard and narrow hooves, the structure, which allows you to climb the steep slopes of the mountains and keep without fear of breaking. Another amazing feature of mountain goats is the short tail, which has no hair at the end, but at the same time produces a strong, specific smell. This is a kind of weapon that scares predators.
At mountain goats sexual deformism is perfectly sustained. Females' horns are 1.5–2 times shorter than males and lack a beard, but individuals with long hair on the chest and neck can often be found. The hairline itself consists of short, but coarse hair. Color is presented in different colors:
Distribution and range of mountain goats
The range of mountain goats is steep mountain slopes, and not vast and even territories, although there are cases of encounters in similar areas. Habitat is hard to reach places, such as:
In addition, mountain goats live at an altitude of 1,500 to 5,500 above sea level. The specifics of this distribution by scientists is unclear, but there are suggestions that this is due to the pressure and the amount of oxygen. In such an environment, animals develop much easier. Mountain goats are common in Europe, Asia and North America, but the ranges of various species rarely overlap.
Mountain goats live in herds of 3-5 individuals, while male and female individuals converge only during the mating period. In winter, the herd during mating increases by 10–100 individuals. In winter, mountain goats, along with the family, descend into the plains, where the climate is much milder. In the summer, goats feed preferably in the evening or morning, and in hot weather they rest, hiding in hard-to-reach and dark areas.
Mountain landscape for goats, it is a native element to which they have adapted perfectly throughout the whole evolution. Thanks to the mechanism of the body and coordination, they can stand almost on a vertical surface. And they conquer the heights neatly, but in case of danger they are able to go on a run, and to warn the flock about predators with thin bleating. Accidents with these animals are rare.
The main food in the mountain goat diet is alpine grasses, but because of the poor vegetation in the mountainous areas, sometimes they use moss, bark from trees and shrubs. In addition, this family of animals needs a high need of salt, which can be found, for example, on the steep walls of the dam. To do this, sometimes you have to overcome a distance of 15–20 km.
Mating period mountain goat starts in November or December. At this time, the goats males are actively fighting for the attention of females, fighting with rivals. An unfamiliar male may come to the herd and call the enemy to fight, and the fight will take place according to certain rules. At first, both males stand and prepare for an attack. Beat horns, while you can hear the sound of a crunch, which is heard for many kilometers around. Such blows do not cause harm to animals, but only exhausting. Unlike sheep, mountain goats do not fight to the death and do not cause injuries, but only fight to the complete exhaustion of forces. The winning mountain goat gets a group of females from 5–10 goats.
After mating pregnancy lasts for 5–6 months, after which offspring is born in May-June. This is the most favorable time for the growth of newborn goatlings, because food is growing in abundance, and the weather is favorable. From one goat, 1–2 cubs are born, which almost immediately stand on their feet. In domestic goats, the number of cubs sometimes reaches 4 pieces.
In the first months of growth of newborns, feeding takes place exclusively with the help of the mother, who shelters the kids in an inaccessible place and brings food there. At the age of 1-2 months, the cubs begin to accompany the mother in search of food, but this is the most dangerous period for them. At this age, kids are not yet strong muscles and also do not have the basic skills of movement in the mountains, but they are very playful and mobile, which often leads to injury or death. Mountain goats become independent individuals in 1–1.5 years. At 2 years old, the animals are already mature individuals.
Mountain goats are the predominant animal species in such mountains as:
At the same time, they are subject to constant attacks from predators. Wolves, Snow leopards, lynx, golden eagles, and in North Africa, leopards attack mountain goats. In addition, in the mountains, animals often die from avalanches, bad weather, famine, but due to their fertility they quickly restore the population. Some species are still on the verge of extinction. For example, the Ethiopian goat, but the reason for its extinction is solely in reducing the range, which is facilitated by the activities of mankind.
Mountain goats in the history of mankind
The role of mountain goats in the history of mankind is vast and it begins with the appearance of the first rock paintings. The first mentions of this animal are found in various caves, where ancient people depicted them or hid amulets made of horns. Charms from the horns belonging to a later time, are found almost all over the world. It is assumed that they were donated newborn children. In Tibet and Ladakh, a tradition has arisen to donate in honor of the birth of a child not amulets, but figurines of a goat made of flour or clay. Mountain goat in the Mediterranean and Asia, is a symbol that migrated to one of the modern zodiac constellations - Capricorn.
The domestication of goats by man occurred approximately 9–10 thousand years ago in the territory of Northern Iran. This animal is very useful because it has delicious soft meat, healthy milk and skin, which has found its use in the further development of humanity. The skin was first used as parchment paper or made containers for transporting food and water. In the following centuries, leather became the basis for the creation of fur and leather clothing. In the modern world, special types of domestic goats are bred, depending on the required component. There are goats especially for meat, milk, skin and wool.
The goat domestication was dramatic due to the rapid adaptability of animals in the new terrain.
Types of mountain goats
There are about 8–10 species of mountain goats. Among them are the following types:
- East Caucasian,
- tour Severtsev,
Some species of mountain goats today are on the verge of survival and the reason for this is weather conditions or predatory animals. The main cause of extinction were people who, because of their dramatic spread, destroyed large areas of the range of these animals.
The unskilled animal with the name markhor is one of the most spectacular of its kind. Such a name this species received because of the helical horns. Another name is marmuhwhich in Urdu means "eating a snake."
This species is one of the largest. The weight often reaches 90 kg, and the size at the withers is up to one and a half meters, but this does not prevent the mountain goat from moving along the sheer cliffs in search of food.
The powerful horns of mountain goats, which are twisted into a spiral, are a hallmark. In females, horns grow up to 30 cm, while in males their length can reach 1–1.5 meters. This part is the main advantage. Of the distinctive qualities, emit a long beard and a hairy chest.
Young individuals have a gray-red color, which with age changes to off-white color. The horned goats live high in the mountains, where there are various scanty vegetation. Range - mountain ranges, Tibet, Kashmir, Pakistan, Tajikistan.
Because of its ornate horns, this type of mountain goat is an endangered species. They are especially prices, so poachers constantly hunt animals, even after they have been put on the protection list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The population is trying to recover in some large reserves of the world.
The Siberian mountain goat is a permanent means of survival for many peoples, but even constant hunting does not reduce their population. Mostly people hunt for horns, but horns, milk, meat and animal skin are no less valuable. Especially distinguished drug bezoar, which can be obtained exclusively from the stomach of the Siberian goat.
This species is intelligent and perfectly trainable in contrast to sheep and sheep. That is why the Siberian goat became the progenitor of many domesticated animal species, which are used as a source of milk, meat, leather and wool.
Mountain goats are one of the most amazing species in the animal world. They are graceful, beautiful and at the same time able to move through the mountains, almost vertical steep slopes. No mammal has the strength to repeat this journey. Despite its grace and beauty, many species of mountain goats are in the Red Book. The main reason is the destruction of the area due to human activity and poaching.
Wild mountain goats
Wild goats, which still live in the wild, are most likely the progenitors of modern domestic goats. They are divided into different types, subspecies. In our article we want to talk about some of them. Wild goats are ruminant mammals, of which currently, depending on the classification, there are from eight to ten species. Mostly they live in mountainous areas. Such animals are very mobile, hardy, can survive on lands with very poor vegetation. Conventionally, they can be divided into three types: tours, goats and ibex. Let's talk about some of them.
Western Caucasus, or Kuban tour
These animals are very graceful. The West Caucasian tour lives on the border of Georgia and Russia. Its habitat is not very large and represents only a narrow strip of about 4,500 square kilometers, which is constantly decreasing due to human activity.
The Kuban tour is considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a species that is in great danger. At present, there are no more than 10,000 individuals worldwide. In the wild, the West Caucasian tour often meets with the East Caucasus, as a result of which hybrid individuals are born that are incapable of producing offspring. This is also one of the reasons for reducing livestock.
Kuban tours are genetically close to bezoar goats, and their external similarity with Dagestan tours can be explained by hybridization, which is confirmed by recent scientific research.
Appearance and behavior of the West Caucasian tour
The West Caucasian tour has a very strong and massive physique. Adult males weigh from 65 to 100 kilograms. But females are a little inferior in weight (no more than 60 kilograms). Accordingly, the horns of females are much smaller than those of males. Male horns are quite massive and heavy, reaching a length of 75 centimeters. But their diameter is not as large as, for example, among East-Caucasian representatives. But the tails of females and males are the same. The upper part of the Kuban tour is red-brown in color, and the lower - yellow. In winter, the wool has a grayish-brown shade, which allows the animal to merge with the environment.
Western Caucasus tours are very careful. Adult individuals spend the whole summer far in the mountains, not allowing anyone to approach them. But females live in small herds, matriarchy reigns in their communities. Female individuals are engaged in raising young animals, helping each other in this. It is noticed that females are very caring moms, in case of danger they will never abandon their offspring and will try to take the kids away from the hunters to the last.
Males are raised in herds to sexual maturity, and at the age of 3-4 they are expelled, but at the same time they do not know how to live independently, therefore they are united in small groups. And now, at the age of 6-7 years, males become strong enough to fight for a female.
In winter, the Kuban tours are periodically combined into large heterosexual herds, since it is easier for them to move the cold together. During such periods, the food becomes very small, so the animals not only eat dry grass found under the snow, but also devour the bark from coniferous trees, gnaw young shoots of birch trees, willows and needles, with incredible appetite they eat ivy leaves and blackberries.
Himalayan tar is a goat, which is sometimes called the goat antelope. The animal looks really very similar to a goat, but it has a long brown-red hair, reaching a height of one meter. Tara, as a rule, try to keep small family groups. Sometimes they are combined in herds, the number of which reaches 30-40 individuals. Tara is very careful and at the slightest danger, they run over stones through forests, easily passing steep slopes. During the mating season, the animals fight with each other's horns, fighting for the female.
The Arabian tar lives only in one region on the earth - it is the mountainous terrain Hajjar on the Arabian Peninsula, which is partially located on the territory of Oman, and partly on the lands of the United Arab Emirates. Animals live in the mountains and rocks in an extremely arid climate.
Tar Arabian has a dense build, strong legs, suitable for climbing steep rocks. The animal is completely covered with a length of reddish-brown hair, and a dark stripe stretches along its back. Females and males have long, curved back horns.
Alpine mountain goats are representatives of the genus of mountain goats, which can only be seen in the Alps. They live at an altitude of up to 3.5 thousand meters and love to surprise tourists with their ability to climb steep cliffs. Animals feel great in the mountains, on the border of forest and ice. In winter, goats are forced to descend a little lower in search of food, but they rarely do this, because alpine meadows are dangerous for them in terms of predators. But Capricorns also show unprecedented caution. When they go to a watering place or just to pasture, they always leave a guard goat who can warn others of the danger in time.
Alpine goats are quite large animals, whose weight can reach one hundred kilograms with the growth of one and a half meters. Females, naturally, are much more modest in size, their weight hardly reaches forty kilograms. Like their Siberian relatives, they boast impressive horns. In males, they can reach one meter, but in females this part is slightly smaller.
Horns for animals are not just a decoration, but a very serious weapon. Between November and January, the mating season begins. At this time, the lone males begin to look for a suitable herd of females, driving all rivals away from them. Often they have to participate in these serious battles, the main weapon in which are powerful horns. Having won a herd of goats, the animal remains for some time in it, and in the spring each female gives birth to one or two goats. Over the next year, they feed their offspring with milk.
In the future, the older generation behaves in the same way as other wild goats, the species of which are given in the article: females do not leave their flock, but mature males will have to leave. At the beginning of an independent life, males try to create their own herds, but, as a rule, they quickly fall apart.
The history of alpine goats
Currently in the Alps there are about 30-40 thousand such animals. And in the beginning of the nineteenth century, the alpine goats were almost on the verge of destruction. And the thing is that medieval people considered ibex mystical and sacred creatures. Their wool, bones and blood were sometimes attributed to the most extraordinary properties, including the ability to heal ailments. All this led to the fact that the animals began a zealous hunt.
By 1816, no more than a hundred alpine goats remained. It was their miracle managed to save. All the alpine goats that exist today originated precisely from that hundred. Later on, the animals were taken under protection, due to which their numbers gradually increased.