Rocky Mountain Goat – Fact


Photo taken from Huron Peak, Colorado

Photo taken from Huron Peak, Colorado

Both male and female mountain goats have beards, short tails, and long black horns, 15-28 cm in length, which contain yearly growth rings. They are protected from the elements by their woolly white double coats. The fine, dense wool of their undercoats is covered by an outer layer of longer, hollow hairs. In warmer seasons, mountain goats moult by rubbing against rocks and trees, with the adult billies (males) shedding their extra wool first and the pregnant nannies (females) shedding last. In the winter, their coats help them to withstand temperatures as low as -50 Fahrenheit and winds of up to 100 mph.

A billy stands (3’3″) at the shoulder to the waists. Male goats also have longer horns and a longer beard than nannies. Mountain goats typically weigh between 100 – 300 lbs.;females are usually 10-30% lighter than males.

The mountain goat’s feet are well-suited for climbing steep, rocky slopes, sometimes with pitches of 60 degrees or more, with inner pads that provide traction and cloven hooves that can spread apart as needed. Dewclaws on the back of their feet also help to keep them from slipping poo.

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