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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).

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(vertebrate zoology)
Antilocapra americana. An antelopelike artiodactyl composing the family Antilocapridae; the only hollow-horned ungulate with branched horns present in both sexes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The good thing about Colorado is the state offers over-the-counter archery tags for pronghorn (as well as leftover rifle tags).
The hours flew by as I looked over herd after herd of pronghorn. I stopped for lunch around midday, gladly resting in the shade of a lone cedar beside a quaint spring.
I have shot more than a dozen pronghorns from pit blinds beside water, many whitetail deer from treestands and ground blinds, and more than one elk near seeps or springs.
Powder River Gateway intends to create joint tariffs with both Pony Express and Seahorse, providing Iron Horse and PRE shippers seamless transportation from Silver Creek's Pronghorn Terminal to Cushing, Okla., St.
Powered by Pronghorn server -- our feature-rich proprietary design, which is equipped with a hybrid in-memory computing engine, Focus 9 will offer businesses swift, intelligent and secure transactions.
The rolling grasslands and shrub-steppe communities occupied by Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) are often strongly influenced by plant phenology and abiotic conditions (Yoakum 2004a).
The next time you look through a pair of binoculars and scan the horizon, that's the equivalent of the pronghorn's vision.
Our objectives were to compare seasonal changes in dietary quality using fecal nitrogen (FN) and fecal 2,6-diaminopimelic acid (FDAPA), and diet composition and overlap using fecal microhistology of pellets collected from sympatric pronghorn and gemsbok during periods with average precipitation and drought conditions.
Here in Montana (and in Keith's Idaho) a mature pronghorn buck usually measures about 15 inches from the bottom of the chest to the top of the back.
Sources of mortality for adult pronghorn include predation (Cannon, 1995; Sievers, 2004; Jacques and Jenks, 2008; Barnowe-Meyer et al., 2009), hunter, harvest (Grogan and Lindzey, 2007; Jacques et al., 2007; Kolar et al., 2012), malnutrition, weather-related starvation (West, 1970; Barrett, 1982; Brown et al., 2006), disease (Wobeser et al., 1975; Thorne et al., 1988), fence entanglement (Harrington and Conover, 2006; Kolar et al., 2012), vehicle collisions (Gavin and Komers, 2006;Jacques et al., 2007), and parturitional complications (Jacques et al., 2007), among others.
Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) offer a wonderful illustration, for there are some creatures like this whose trajectories through time are so dramatic and emblematic of the nature of life that they awaken in us a reason to appreciate every creature on Earth.