The Ma­cho Moun­tain Sheep

Wild - - HINTERLAND WHO’S WHO -

Moun­tain sheep, like the Rocky Moun­tain Bighorn, Dall Sheep and Stone Sheep, like to set­tle their dif­fer­ences with­out fight­ing. They usu­ally de­cide which male will be the leader by just com­par­ing the size of their horns. The big­ger the horns, the big­ger the po­si­tion a ram will have in the flock. Their horns can grow to be re­ally large — over 13 kilo­grams! But if you’ve got two males with horns that look about the same size, they’ll of­ten rut to de­cide who comes out on top. First, they walk back­wards about 12 kilo­me­tres. Then they race to­wards each other and crash into one an­other. WHAM!!! The sound can be heard over a kilo­me­tre away. They might re­peat the rut a few times be­fore a winner is de­cided, and then that ram will get the priv­i­lege of mat­ing with the ewes (fe­males).

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