markhor

markhor

[mahr-kawr]
markhor, wild goat, Capra falconeri, found in the rugged mountains of central Asia, from S Russia to the W Himalayas. Largest of the goats, the male may stand over 40 in. (100 cm) at the shoulder and weigh over 200 lb (90 kg). The coat is short and reddish brown in summer; in winter it is long, silky, and gray. Males have long, thick beards. The distinctive corkscrew-shaped horns are extremely thick and heavy. Markhors live in small herds of between 4 and 30 individuals, grazing up to the snow line. The isolated populations of the different mountain ranges constitute distinct races; most are near extinction because of extensive hunting. In Russia and the Central Asian Republics, where the markhor has been protected since the 1930s, its numbers have increased to about 1,000. The markhor is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.

The Markhor (Capra falconeri) is a goat-antelope found in sparse woodland in the Western Himalayas.

Markhor stand at the shoulder and weigh from . Females are tan in colour with a white underbelly and a pattern of black and white on the legs. Males have a lighter tan colour with the same white underbelly and pattern on the legs, as well as a black face and a large amount of long shaggy white fur on their neck and chest which can grow to knee-length. Both sexes have corkscrew-shaped horns which can grow up to long in males, and up to in females.

Markhor are found at altitudes of where they eat grass, leaves, and whatever other vegetative matter they can find, often standing on their hind legs to reach the top leaves of trees. Markhor are crepuscular, active in the early morning and late afternoon. Females gather in herds of up to nine individuals and males are normally solitary.

During mating season, males fight each other for the attention of females. These fights involve lunging until the two males' horns are locked together, and then twisting and pushing until one male falls. Markhor sound much like the domestic goat.

The animal is largely found in the Northern Areas of Pakistan especially in Chitral, Ghizar and Hunza regions.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has classified the Markhor as an endangered species, meaning it is in danger of facing extinction in the near future if conservation efforts are not maintained. Numbers between 2,000 and 4,000 exist in the wild. The Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan.

Subspecies

References

  • Listed as Endangered (EN A2cde v2.3)

Search another word or see Markhoron Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;