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Pronghorn running across field

Fleet-footed pronghorn antelopes are among the speediest animals in North America. They can attain speeds of more than 53 miles an hour, leaving pursuing coyotes and bobcats in the dust. Pronghorns are also great distance runners that can travel for miles at half that speed.

Pronghorn are about three feet tall at the shoulders. They are reddish brown, but feature white stomachs and wide, white stripes on their throats. Startled pronghorn raise the hair on their rumps to display a white warning patch that can be seen for miles.

Both sexes sport impressive, backward-curving horns. The horns split to form forward-pointing prongs that give the species its name. Some animals have horns that are more than a foot long.

Like other eventoed hoofed animals, pronghorns chew cud, their own partially digested food. The meal of choice for this speed herbivore is generally grass, sagebrush, and other vegetation.

Pronghorns mate each fall in the dry, open lands of western North America. Bucks gather harems of females and protect them jealously, sometimes battling rivals in spectacular and dangerous fights. In the spring, females give birth to one or two young, which can outrun a human after just a few days.

Pronghorn are hunted throughout much of their natural range, but some subspecies are endangered.

Photo 630, Sept 2007 South Dakota

Day 7, Pronghorns by the Wildlife Loop Road

Photo 820, Sept 2007 South Dakota

Day 7, Male Pronghorn by the Wildlife Loop Road

Photo 821, Sept 2007 South Dakota

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