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Bighorn sheep (Artiodactyla: Bovidae: Ovis canadensis) can be found in many mountainous areas of the North American west. Scattered from Colorado’s Front Range to California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and from Canada’s Northern Rockies to Baja Mexico, these large mammals are at home wherever rocky slopes give them an advantage against predators. These giants make their way from one meadow to the next feeding on a variety of grasses, woody stems, and some evergreens. Along the way they use their impressive cliff climbing skills to avoid and escape mountain lions, bobcats, lynxes, wolves, coyotes, and golden eagles, although it’s usually the lambs that become prey.
These large sheep climb like expert mountaineers thanks to the unique structure of their hooves. The outside edges are hard and cut into rock, snow, and ice to establish a solid footing. The soft middle part grips rock like the rubber sole of a boot…
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