Dall's sheep Facts

Dall's sheep Facts
Dall's sheep, also known as thinhorn sheep, is a type of wild sheep. There are two subspecies of Dall's sheep that can be found in the northwestern parts of Canada and in the northern parts of the United States (Alaska). Dall's sheep lives in extremely cold and harsh climate at high altitude (up to 6500 feet). They usually inhabit alpine pastures and mountain slopes. Major threats to the survival of Dall's sheep are diseases and habitat destruction due to increased human activity. At the moment, number of Dall's sheep in the wild is stable and they are not listed as endangered species.
Interesting Dall's sheep Facts:
Dall's sheep are large animals. Males are larger than females. They can reach 70 inches in lenght and weigh up to 249 pounds. Females usually have 63 inches in lenght and weigh up to 150 pounds.
Body of Dall's sheep is covered with white, woolly coat that provides protection against low temperatures.
Both males and females have horns. They are curved and tan in color. Males have thicker and longer horns. Horns are made of the same substance (keratin) like human's nails.
Age of the sheep can be determined by counting rings on the horns. Each year, from April to September, new ring is formed.
Dall's sheep has cloven hooves, equipped with strong pads. This facilitates movement across rough rocky terrain.
Dall's sheep is a herbivore (plant-eater). Depending on the season, it consumes different types of grass, sedges, lichens, mosses and willows.
Food sources are scarce and their mineral content is very low during the winter. Restoration of needed minerals, such as calcium, is accomplished by licking rocks with minerals in the spring.
Life in arctic regions is associated with seasonal migration. Dall's sheep can move up to 6 times per year and live on 6 different territories due to seasonal lack of food and harsh weather conditions.
Main predators of Dall's sheep are brown and grizzly bears, coyotes, wolverines, wolves and eagles.
Males and females live in separate groups. Males (called rams) form a group called "band" of up to 15 members. Females (called ewes) live in larger groups with their offspring.
Mating season of Dall's sheep lasts from November to December. Fights between males (to determine which is the most dominant) precede mating.
Males will kick and slam each other using their horns. To prevent brain injuries, males have several air "cushions" in the head, which absorb the impact of the kicks.
Males detect females that are ready to mate by the smell. After mating, male stays close to female several days to prevent mating with other males.
Pregnancy lasts 4.5 months and ends up with a single lamb. Babies are ready to travel with their mother 24 hours after birth.
Dall's sheep can survive up to 10 years in the wild.

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