Ibex are the highlight today at Light Future Art! How many of these fun facts surprised you?
1. The Alpine ibex, as hinted at by their name, live in the European Alps. The Asiatic ibex lives in central Asia. The Nubian ibex can be found in Egypt or the Middle East.
2. Ibexes live in herds. Males and females live in separate herds, only meeting during the mating season. Herds are small, numbering only 10 or 20 individuals.
3. Ibexes can climb steep, almost sheer, cliffs with ease due to their impressive jumping ability and hooves. Their hooves are concave and act like suction cups, letting the ibex cling to the sides of mountains. They can jump nearly six feet straight in the air without a running start.
4. Ibexes can also climb trees to forage the leaves from the lower branches, provided the tree is strong enough to hold their weight.
5. Both male and female ibexes have long horns but the males’ are longer. Some may have horns that grow up to five feet in length. This is almost as long as the ibex is tall.
6. In 2000, the Pyrenean ibex was declared extinct. In 2009, however, frozen tissue of the Pyrenean ibex was discovered, leading to experiments in cloning. The experiments thus far have not yielded a viable clone but scientists are hopeful that the species can be revived sometime in the future.
7. A pregnant ibex has a gestation period of 150 to 180 days. Usually, she will give birth to one to three offspring, called kids. Kids are able to run and jump soon after birth. Kids remain with their mother’s herd for the first year of their lives, although they are weaned at half a year.
8. The Nubian ibex has a special method of grooming and keeping healthy. They let blackbirds eat the parasites and pests from them. There is one blackbird per ibex and blackbirds sometimes compete for ibexes that seem preferable to others.
9. Male ibex have beards which they use to attract females and to spread pheromones on themselves which tell the females that they are interested. With Siberian ibexes, both males and females have a beard. In addition to their beards, male ibexes try to impress females by sparring with one another and curling their upper lips back.
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