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leather made by fat tanning reindeer hide, sheepskin, or calfskin. Chamois is noted for its softness, velvety quality, and impermeability; it is dyed various colors. Chamois is highly porous. It is used to make clothing, footwear, and gloves, and also to filter gasoline (water separation) and polish optical lenses. Artificial chamois can be made by saturating fabric with a chamois-like nap with a rubber glue (for shoes) or by sprinkling chopped cotton fiber on fabric covered with rubber glue (for haberdashery items).
(Rupicapra rupicapra), an artiodactyl ruminant of the family Bovidae. The head is small, and the snout is pointed. Both the males and the females have hook-shaped horns. The chamois is 65–70 cm high at the shoulder and weighs up to 40 kg. In the summer its coat is short and reddish yellow; in the winter it is long, thick, and black-brown.
The chamois inhabits the mountains of Europe—the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Apennines, the Carpathians, the Balkan Mountains. In the USSR it is found in the Caucasus. It also is encountered at high elevations of Asia Minor. In the summer the chamois ranges near the timberline and in alpine meadows; in the winter it lives only in forests. The chamois is a solitary animal or lives in herds of as many as 100 individuals. The animal climbs easily on cliffs; it feeds on grass and, sometimes, on the shoots and leaves of shrubs. Mating in the Caucasus occurs in mid-November, and one or two young are born in May. The chamois is a game animal. The meat is edible, and the hides are used for throw rugs and collars.
REFERENCESSokolov, I. I. Kopytnye zveri. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959. (Fauna SSSR: Mlekopitaiushchie, vol. 1. issue 3.)
Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1. Edited by V. G. Geptner and N. P. Naumov. Moscow, 1961.
I. I. SOKOLOV