Red Rock Canyon A to Z

S: Sheep (bighorn)

Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) are one of the most majestic of the large animals seen in Red Rock Canyon and are the state animal of Nevada. They prefer steep, rocky terrain, which provides escape from coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Bighorn sheep forage on grasses, shrubs, and fruits. Both male (rams) and female (ewes) sheep have horns atop their head, although male sheep have bigger horns. The horns are made of keratin, the same material of human fingernails. Males smash into each other using their horns to establish dominance when it comes to selecting mates. On average, bighorn sheep live 10-15 years and can weigh anywhere from 110-200 pounds.

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