Bighorn sheep: Rockin' the Rockies
What makes bighorn sheep such an attraction for hunters? They're just plain magnificent for one thing; it's a big deal to bag one; and of course, there's the meat. Bighorn males, called rams, are famous for their large, curled horns which can weigh something like 30 lb., more than the total weight of all the other bones in their bodies combined! Those horns grow and grow each year from two spikes that look like antennae, to “full curls” and beyond. One look at the size of a fellow sheep’s horns and a would-be foe decides to “fight another day.” It's possible that a sheep skirmish is inescapable, so a couple of rams can rear up on their hind legs and hurl themselves at each other in charges of some 20 miles per hour! Apparently, one can hear the sound of those bashing horns from some distance away. Their thick, bony skulls with air-filled chambers, however, usually prevent serious injury with all that head butting which can last for hours! Again, sooner or later, one ram decides he’s had enough and simply walks away. Look at these images of bighorn sheep--paintings, sculptures, and etchings. Do you agree with Charlie Russell that a bighorn sheep is a "Monarch of the Rockies"?
A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Marg2309