Originally featured in Points West in Winter 2013
Pronghorn (Antilocapra Americano) specimen
The pronghorn (Antilocapra Americano), usually called the pronghorn antelope, is not really an antelope at all. Although it is similar in appearance and ecology to the true antelope species of Africa and Eurasia, it is the sole-surviving member of the family Antilocapridae. The pronghorn is native to North America and occurs naturally nowhere else in the world. During the Pleistocene Epoch, at least twelve species of antilocaprids lived in North America, and most authorities agree that at least five of these still existed when humans arrived on the continent.
Pronghorn is the only animal in the world that has branched horns (not antlers). The horns are sheaths surrounding a bony core, and the horns are shed and regrown annually. Both males and females have horns, but the horns of males, or bucks, are much more prominent. The pronghorn can run faster than all mammals except the cheetah.
This beautiful specimen is displayed in the Draper Natural History Museum’s Plains/Basin Environment. It was prepared and provided to the Draper by Ray Hatfield of Nature’s Design Taxidermy in Cody.
Pronghorn specimen. DRA.305.48