Did You Know?

Did you know that the Bighorn Sheep rams will deliberately break off part of their curved horns? When photographing the rams of Waterton Canyon and the Badlands NP, I noticed that most all of the older rams … those with “full curls” … had horns that were broken off near the tips. As a photographer that had not photographed rams much, I thought that they must have broken off the tips in their battles with other rams in the rut. But researching this further, I find that once the horn curls to a “full curl”, the rams often “broom their horns”, deliberately breaking them off to prevent the large horns from blocking their peripheral vision. Here are a few examples of some of the rams I photographed in the fall rut:

Here are a couple of images, showing the broomed horns of the older rams:

Bighorn Sheep ram

Bighorn Sheep

This next image shows an older ram with broomed horns, a younger ram with pointed horns, and a ewe that is fitted with a collar (for research purposes … the herd at the Badlands were reintroduced in the late 1990’s and they are studying where they go in the Badlands habitat:

Bighorn Sheep

 

Amazing how nature works!

Photo Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, from the vehicle
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/4,000 sec.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in 2013, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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