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I live in Fountain, Colorado - just south of Colorado Springs home of America’s Mountain - Pikes Peak. But for this challenge, I thought I would show you something just a bit different. When most people think of Colorado, they think the Rocky Mountains and for the most part they would be right. What they don’t know is that Colorado is actually a high desert. Pikes Peak tops at 14,114 ft above sea level, Colorado Springs is at 6,035 and Fountain is 5,554. So what does this all mean - well here in Fountain and on the east side of Colorado Springs - there is nothing but rolling hills and grassland prairies!

One of the things I love about Colorado is it’s wildlife. So this week I bring you the Pronghorn or more wrongly called an Antelope (which it is not) also comes with nick names such as: The Prairie Ghost or The Speed Goat! The guys are VERY tough to get close to as their eyesight is 8x that of humans and they are extremely skittish - just think if you had to live with an 8 power binoculars permanently attached to your face - not fun - you’d be on edge 24/7 also! They also have very large eyes with a 320° field of vision.

Both males and females can have horns; not antlers (Antlers shed yearly, horns are forever) but only males have the “prong” a forward-pointing tine. Males are further differentiated from females in having a small patch of black hair at the angle of the mandible (on the face). Pronghorns have a distinct, musky odor. Males mark territory with a preorbital scent gland which is located on the sides of the head.

The Pronghorn is the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere, being built for maximum predator evasion through running. The top speed is very hard to measure accurately and varies between individuals; it can run 35 mph for 4 miles, 42 mph for 1 mile, and 55 mph for 0.5 mile. It is often cited as the second-fastest land animal, second only to the cheetah. It can, however, sustain high speeds longer than cheetahs.

Date: 1/4/17 11:08:22 AM
Location: Big Johnson Reservoir, Fountain, CO
NIKON D500 - 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 300mm @ f/5.6 - 1/800 sec
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Articles , Photos , Wild Life

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