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Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis).—Harry EngelsThe National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers
Stocky, climbing hoofed mammal (Ovis canadensis) of western North America. Both sexes have horns that in the male may curve in a spiral more than 39 in. (1 m) long. Their fur is usually brown with a whitish rump patch. The related thinhorn, or Dall's sheep (O. dalli), of Alaska and Canada is similar to the bighorn. Both species are about 39 in. (1 m) tall at the shoulder, but the bighorn is heavier, weighing up to 300 lb (136 kg). They live in small groups among remote crags and cliffs of mountainous areas and feed mainly on grasses. Bighorn rams compete for females by launching themselves at each other from a few yards' distance and clashing horns.
Variants of BIGHORN
bighorn or mountain sheep
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bighorn, visit Britannica.com.