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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 ?
FOAL supports the preservation of wildlife migration routes, especially when allowing pronghorn to migrate through the wild horse herd management area, which extends the grazing resources for those animals who cannot migrate, said FOAL Executive Director Marion Morrison.
The Yellowstone Pronghorn population was once numerous (1000 to 1500 animals) in the shrub-steppe and mixed-forest habitats of what is now Yellowstone National Park (Skinner 1922).
Caption: Rutting pronghorn bucks are very territorial and protective of their harem of does.
Caption: After three days of intense hunting filled with exhausting stalks, Jessica DeLorenzo and Amanda Caldwell were more than thrilled to celebrate DeLorenzo's successful shot on a nice pronghorn.
In May and June of 2012-2014, we collected pronghorn fecal pellets in the captive pen and from wild individuals at 12 developed watering holes (hereafter drinkers) and nine sites not associated with drinkers on Organ Pipe National Monument (ORPI), CPNWR, and the adjacent Barry M.
Average hand-held lasers don't always tell us the exact range, especially on level ground like a wide pronghorn prairie, since they can end up ranging a sagebrush in front or behind a buck.
Our objectives were to estimate annual survival rates and cause-specific mortality of male and female adult pronghorn in CSP and evaluate the relative importance of factors including age, sex, season, and year on survival rates using an information-theoretic approach.
Thus, we come to appreciate the pronghorn and all living species for what they are in themselves, if we simply realize the astonishing dimensionality exclusive to each.
Each year in Wyoming a herd of pronghorn makes the longest land-mammal migration in the continental United States, moving between calving grounds in Grand Teton National Park and wintering areas north of Yellowstone National Park.
At 2030 h on 2 October 2006, a standing male pronghorn that appeared to have his head caught in something on the ground was observed with the aid of a spotlight.