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hoofed herbivorous mammal, Antilocapra americana, of the W United States and N Mexico. Although it is often called the American, or prong-horned, antelope, the pronghorn is the only living member of the Antilocapridae and is more closely related to the giraffe; antelopes are African and Eurasian members of the cattle family (Bovidae).

The pronghorn is about the size of a goat, standing 3 ft (90 cm) high at the shoulder and weighing about 100 lb (45 kg). The coat is light brown with white underparts, two white throat stripes, and a white rump patch. The tail is short, and the ears are long and pointed. Both sexes have horns, which consist of a horny sheath and a bony core, like those of antelopes; unlike antelope horns, those of the pronghorn bear a single branch, or prong, and lose the outer sheath each year.

Pronghorns live in small bands on open plains. Chiefly browsers, they feed largely on sagebrush and other shrubs, but also eat grasses. The swiftest of North American mammals, they attain speeds of 60 mi (96 km) per hr, but are poor jumpers. Their principal enemies, besides humans, are wolves and coyotes. Before the settlement of North America by Europeans pronghorns were comparable in numbers to buffalo; by the beginning of the 20th cent., however, they had been nearly exterminated by hunting. They are now protected on reservations, where they have made a good recovery.

Pronghorns are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Antilocapridae.


See J. van Wormer, The World of the Pronghorn (1968).


(vertebrate zoology)
Antilocapra americana. An antelopelike artiodactyl composing the family Antilocapridae; the only hollow-horned ungulate with branched horns present in both sexes.
References in periodicals archive ?
Liberacion inmediata versus comparacion con adaptacion de Antilocapra americana en Maderas del Carmen, Coahuila, Mexico.
Successful bowhunters are attuned to the watering schedules of the American antilocapra, as blinds dug or erected near water sources are very effective on an animal whose eyesight is often compared to a human peering through a rifle scope of relatively high magnification.
A census of the area during the period of winter concentration in 1985 revealed a population of 70 individuals (SEDUE 1986) of Antilocapra americana peninsularis.
Only two coyote specimens (4%) were found to contain remains of Antilocapra americana peninsularis.
Parker & Driscoll (1972) assessed the detection of mule deer Odocoileus hemionus and pronghorn antelope Antilocapra americana confined to pens with no overhead canopy cover.
Mammals known from the study area include Dipodomys ordii (Ord's kangaroo rat), Onychomys leucogaster (northern grasshopper mouse), Perognathus flavescens (plains pocket mouse), Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mouse), Reithrodontomys montanus (plains harvest mouse), Sigmodon hispidus (hispid cotton rat), Neotoma micropus (wood rat), Spermophilus spilosoma (spotted ground squirrel), Canis latrans (coyote), Taxidea taxus (badger), Lepus californicus (black-tailed jackrabbit), Sylvilagus audubonii (desert cottontail), Antilocapra americana (pronghorn), and Bos bos (cattle).
In living Antilocapra americana, loss of infundibula in molars occurs by ca.
There is considerable osteological variability within, and overlap between, the postcranially similar-shaped and similarsized artiodactyls, pronghorns (including Antilocapra, Tetrameryx, and Stockoceros), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis).
Antilocapra americana (fragment of metapodial, including distal end, 1969).
Antilocapra americana (pronghorn) and Callipepla gambelii (Gambel's quail) are common while Pecari tajacu (collared peccary) and Odocoileus (deer) are less common.
hemionus (mule deer), and Antilocapra americana (pronghorn) often makes identification of these species difficult on the basis of skeletal remains.
one might expect the relevant scale of distribution of food over space and time to be smaller for an herbivorous pronghorn, Antilocapra americana, than for a carnivorous coyote, Canis latrans) then quantify food distribution over appropriate temporal and spatial scales.