Mountain Goat

The Mountain Goat has long white hair and is square-looking. It has small black horns, humped shoulders, and sharp hoofs. The bottoms of their hoofs have a rubber-like coating that helps the Mountain goat grip the edges of the rocky cliffs where it lives. The tail is long and thin. Mountain goats are between 4 to 5 feet long and weigh anywhere from 115 to 200 pounds! This animal also has a beard of thin white hair.

Mountain goats live in some of the harshest climates of all animals. They are found on steep northern mountain slopes and the edges of cliffs where there is little plant-life and few other animals to compete with for food. This habitat is called sub-alpine; it is usually fairly cold and dry. The Mountain goat is a grazer, feeding all day on grasses, leaves, salt licks, and scrub bushes. It has 8 front teeth to help it grab and chew sharp plants around it. It is an excellent climber and jumper--traits that helps it find food in mountain regions. The horns help defend against predator enemies such as mountain lions and coyotes.

Mountain goats live in large groups during the winter and smaller groups in the summer. Males and females separate unless they are breeding; the females dominate the social group. Breeding takes place between November and January--kids are born in the following summer when food is plentiful. A female will often hide in a cave or cliff while giving birth to protect herself from predators. Mothers nurse their offspring for 4 months, although young goats become independent after 1.5 months.

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