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Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-11-29
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 5d Mark II, Canon EF 600mm f4.0L IS USM
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-02-02 2:59
Viewed: 2519
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Pronghorn is relieving an itch and by the look he had it felt awfully good. Shot in Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner Montana.

Antilocapra americana

General Description

By Gustave J. Yaki

The Pronghorn is often incorrectly referred to as an antelope. In fact, they now are the sole surviving species in a family of their own, midway between that of antelope and goat, as is indicated by its generic name. Fossils date back to nearly 30 million years ago.

Once numbering from 40 to 60 million prior to the arrival of Europeans, they were soon almost driven to the verge of extinction. Strong game laws and milder winters prevented them from going the way of the Passenger Pigeon and Bison. In winter, when the hills and open country becomes snow-covered, they band together and drift into the valleys. Unlike deer, they cannot jump over objects, so with the fencing of the western rangeland, many perished in snow storms, huddled together in corners. A narrow gap would have permitted them to pass through while preventing livestock from doing so. Today most fences are constructed high enough to allow them to crawl under, unless it is blocked by snow. Woven wire fences are absolutely fatal barriers to their movement.

They are the fastest mammal in North America, achieving speeds of up to 96 km (60 mi.) per hour for short distances, and can maintain 66 km (40 m.) per hour for up to 6.6 km (four mi.).

Besides their incredible speed, they also have remarkable eyesight, seeing movement up to 6.6 km (4 mi.) away. As well, their large eyes protrude so far from the sides of their head that they almost have 360 degree of vision.

Their maximum life-span is twelve years, but it averages out at about four and half years.

Mainly browsers, they also eat many weeds, some grasses and alfalfa but their preferred food is sagebrush, especially important in winter. They need water to drink.

Beginning in mid-August, the bucks start to assemble a harem. If they are lucky, this will average seven does, but this ranges from two to fifteen. Most of the kids play together, ignoring their elders at that time. After a gestation of 230-240 days, the female seeks privacy, giving birth, usually to twins, most often in a well vegetated valley or on an island in a lake. The young rise to nurse on wobbly legs during the first hour and can run on the second, although awkwardly. By the third day, they are difficult to catch. The female stows them, if twins, some distance apart, then retreats about 400 metres, keeping a watchful eye on the area where she has hidden them. The young appear to be odorless so predators find them difficult to locate for the first few days. After that, the female decoys any dog or coyote away from the caching area. The kids follow the does at four weeks, begin grazing at six weeks and are weaned at four months. Although independent, they follow their mother during the first winter. Being highly gregarious, they stay together in small herds most of the year, except in the spring, when adult males leave the does and younger stock, not rejoining them until autumn. The juveniles reach reproductive maturity at that time, at 15-16 months of age.

Both sexes have permanent horn cores which are covered by a layer of skin with specialized hairs. About the end of October, the old horn sheath becomes detached and is shed, revealing the newly developing horn sheath, which continues to grow until early July. That of the males at 25 cm is about twice as long as the females.

Their range is mainly the treeless, grassland areas of western half of North America, from the Canadian Prairie provinces south into northern Mexico. To most readily see them in Alberta, travel to the SW part of the province. In summer, they are frequently seen along the Trans-Canada highway between Brooks and Medicine Hat.
from Weaselhead.org

CeltickRanger, eqshannon, drchoneydew, maurydv has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2012-02-02 3:33]

Hello Rick
this shot is very genuine in its surroundings and subject itself.
Nice colors and specia posing.


Hello Rick

Beautiful portrait of this Pronghorn, you shoot
the photo at the best pose time, fine POV,
excellent focus sharpness and details, TFS


Hi Rick
great pose!
could it be that he is just marking his territory with his glands? The grass looks a bit fine for scratching

very satisfied look on his face indeed

well done

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-02-02 10:50]

Hello Rick.
What a great portrait ! Great sharpness and details, fantastic colors, wonderful POV, light, composition and framing. It looks so sweet, so delicate. Very well done.Best regards Siggi

These animals are so unusually cute they look cartoonish in some ways. Here in this image which I don't believe I have seen before, you transmit thee feel of the moment. There is a projected look on its face which we can all see through your apt title. Well done Mr Canadian Naturalist!

Hi Rick. You've captures this creature perfectly. It's so beautifuly groomed. He must be combing himself. LOL A good DOF here and nice shade to the background. TFS Trevor

Interesting and beautiful scene Rick! Very good composition, wonderful soft colours and impressive sharpness!

Hallo Rick,
a very beautiful scene with an interesting posture of the Pronghorn, very good sharpness and fantastic delicate colours, very well done
Best regards

great scene and moment with so good natural performance!
regards Rick

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