Alpine Ibex

Alpine Ibex Introduction

The Alpine ibex goes by a few different names, including bouquetin, steinbock, or simply ibex. A type of wild goat, these majestic and hearty creatures are known for their long and intimidating horns—but these horns only grow so long among the males of the species. As the name suggests, alpine ibexes live in the Alps, a European mountain range known for its steep slopes and cold, snowy environment. Alpine ibexes are uniquely adapted to survive in such a landscape. The Alpine ibex has a dull coat of brown fur over its entire body, with darker markings around the face, back, and tail.- Ibexes molt twice each year, meaning that their coat is short and thin during the summer months but longer and thicker during the winter. Their horns may be their most noticeable feature, and these impressive horns are an example of sexual dimorphism. Male ibexes grow horns up to 98cm in length (39in) that are curved and patterned with ridges, while the horns of female Alpine ibexes measure in at only 20cm (8in). The males use these horns to determine rank within the group, with the individual with the longest horns earning superiority. Males and females live apart from each other for most of the year, only coming together during the breeding season. Males will often clash horns as a way of challenging a rival or asserting dominance, rearing up on their hind legs to come crashing down with their massive horns. Both ibexes go on to remember these encounters, and these complex memories form the unspoken hierarchy within the group. The population of the Alpine ibex was originally much larger and, and their range covered a larger area of Europe. The invention of firearms led to a drastic decline in their numbers due to hunting and poaching. Eventually, only a few small populations remained. Since then, conservation efforts have enabled the alpine ibex to return to more stable numbers, but present-day ibexes are still recovering from the earlier population bottleneck.

Keywords to learn

Molt: to shed hair in order to make room for new growth

Population bottleneck: a drastic decline in population that leads to decreased diversity later on

 


About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Ali the Alpine ibex and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ 

www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

 

Key Data

  • Order:
    Artiodactyla.
  • Lifespan:
    10 to 18 years.
  • Class:
    Mammalia.
  • Scientific Name:
    Capra ibex.
  • Mass:
    65kg – 100kg (143lb – 220lb).
  • Length:
    130cm – 140cm (51in – 55in).
  • Region found:
    European Alps.
  • Population Status:
    Least Concern.
  • Current population trend:
    Stable.
  • Diet:
    Herbivorous.
  • Sexual maturity:

    10 months.

 

The Alpine ibex is a majestic animal with many wonderful characteristics and a great deal of interesting behaviours. Known for its remarkable horns and its interesting social behaviour, the alpine ibex is a wonderful part of the European landscape.

 

Now that you know more about the mandrill by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

Download questions about the Alpine ibex here: Alpine Ibex (answers are on this page)

 

 

Check out our NEW TWITTER ACCOUNT, where you can check out some more cool animal facts: @ animalsatoz

 

 

 

 

 

Axolotl Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. There are about 30,000 alpine ibexes living in the wild. 
  • # 2. Ibexes can jump more than 2m (6ft).
  • # 3. Alpine ibexes have been hunted by humans for thousands of years, dating back to the Neolithic period. 
  • # 4. The unique shape of their hooves allows them to act like suction cups on particularly slippery surfaces.
  • # 5. Ibexes are able to run and jump from the moment they are born. 

Q&A Corner

# 1. How long can the horns of a male Alpine ibex grow?

 

# 2. What is the average lifespan of an Alpine ibex?

 

# 3. How is rank determined among male ibexes?

 

# 4. What is the range of the Alpine ibex?

 

# 5. What lead to the drastic dwindling of ibex populations? 

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