Pronghorn


Pronghorns can run up 60 mph and are the second fastest land animal after the cheetah. Built for speed, the pronghorn has a large heart and lungs, two long padded toes which serves as shock absorbers, light bones and hollow hairs. They aren't good jumpers, however, and are impacted by fencing. They may have evolved such speed to escape the now extinct American cheetah which disappeared around 12,000 year ago.

Pronghorn Fun Facts

  • They are found in the western plains and southwestern United States, south central Canada and northern Mexico
  • They are the fastest land mammal in North America
  • They like open areas where their outstanding eyesight and speed protects them from predators
  • Pronghorn horns "fork" as they grow and have an anterior tine (prong)
  • Males average 120 pounds and females 90 pounds, although both can be larger
  • Babies (fawns- usually two) are born in the late May, grow quickly and are weaned in the fall


By 1920, overhunting and fencing had reduced pronghorn numbers to 13,000.  Conservation efforts by the Boone and Crockett Club, lead by George Grinnell, resulted in the pronghorn recovery.  Now, between 1/2 to 1 million pronghorn live in North America.

Fun Facts- Are these Antlers or Horns?

  1. Horns
  • Are hollow and grow from the base and are made of keratin
  • Bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and pronghorns have horns
  • Only pronghorn shed their horns annually
  • Bison, sheep and goats grow their horns continuously and if they fall off, they don't grow back


  1. Antlers
  • Are made of solid bone
  • Deer, elk, caribou, deer, moose have antlers
  • Both male and female caribou have antlers, otherwise only male deer, moose and elk have antlers
  • Antlers fall off every year.  They grow from the tip


Northern Plains Pronghorn Quiz(answers are below)

1.  How fast can pronghorn run?

a.  30 mph

b.  40 mph

c.  50 mph

d.  60 mph

e.  70 mph


2.  Male pronghorn horns are usually shed during which month?

a.  July

b.  September

c.  November

d.  January

e.  March


3.  Which is the best characteristic to distinguish male from female pronghorns?

a.  Presence of horns

b.  Black line on edge of jaw below ear

c.  Size

d.  Speed

e.  Color of fur on rump, sides and abdomen


4.  Pregnant pronghorns have a relatively long gestation of how many days?

a.  100

b.  150

c.  200

d.  250

e.  300

Answers to Northern Plains Pronghorn Quiz


1.  How fast can pronghorn run?

Answer-

d.  60 mph


2.  Male pronghorn horns are usually shed during which month?

Answer-

c.  November


3.  Which is the best characteristic to distinguish male from female pronghorns?

Answer-

b.  Males have a black line on edge of jaw below ear.  Females can have horns, both males and females are fast, males are larger but some females weight more than young males, fur color is the same with the exception of the black line on the edge of jaw.


4.  Pregnant pronghorns have a relatively long gestation of how many days?

Answer-

d.  250 days, breeding begins in September and the fawns are born in late May


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