Skip to main content

Markhor

The Markhor, the national animal of Pakistan, is a particularly stunning creature. They are large members of the Capra genus, with males reaching weights of 240lbs. They are not the heaviest goats, but they certainly are the tallest, with males standing 3-4ft at the shoulder. Both sexes possess a pair tight, corkscrew twisted horns, but those of the male far surpass those of the female in length. Their horns can grow to 60 or more inches, and are used in aggressive fights during the mating season. They have shaggy coats that grow in length and color seasonally, with the hair shorter and redder in the summer, and longer and grayer in winter.

(Image Source)
Markhors (Capra falconeri) are currently found in only a few small pockets in the Himalayas, typically at elevations of between 2,000 and 12,000ft, where there is still sparse vegetation. They are exceptional climbers and their locations vary with the season, with summers in the higher altitudes and winters in the lower. Their feeding habits also are seasonally affected; in summer they tend to be grazers while in winter they browse. Markhor populations in these few remaining areas are small and typically very isolated. In the past, the Markhor had a range that extended throughout central Asia.

Unfortunately, Markhor are an endangered species, and continue to be hunted for their meat and for their horns, which are used as both hunting trophies and as ingredients for traditional Asian medicines. Markhor horns supposedly sell in China for over $2,200 a pound. Habitat loss and food competition from domestic livestock has also reduced their numbers. It is estimated that there are only a few thousand left. In the wild, Markhor are also hunted by wolves, snow leopards, and lynx.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Binturong

The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe