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bighorn sheep

Scientific Name: Ovis canadensis

Habitat: alpine meadows, grassy mountain slopes, foothills

Diet: grasses, sedges and forbs

Life span: 10-20 years

Young: 1 young/year (lamb), sometimes 2

Size: male 119-127 kg (260-280 lbs); female 53-91 kg (116-200 lbs)

The most notable feature on a bighorn sheep is the large, curled horns sported by the rams. Competing rams fight by running toward one another at speeds of up to 32 km (20 mph) and ramming their heads together. Their double-layered skulls are strengthened by struts of bone, which protects them from fractures.

For most of the year, the ewes and lambs live in herds separate from the rams.

Learn more about this species:

These are some other websites that we think have more great information about this species.

Bighorn sheep on Animal Diversity Web


Range: North America

Status in the Wild

Status: thriving

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


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