Friday, November 8, 2013
Creature Feature #24: Aoudad
The Aoudad, or Barbary Sheep is not in fact a sheep at all, but a goat-antelope. Did you know that antelope and goats are closely related? This regal chap used to roam wild in North Africa, running fleet-footed atop the mountainous peaks in order to evade predators. Now, his numbers are falling in his native range but has proved to flourish elsewhere - such as Spain and North America, where he was released as a game animal.
He lives in arid areas and obtains most of his moisture from the dry grasses and lichens he eats, however if water is available he does enjoy a drink. He is most active in the early morning and the evening, a behaviour known as crepuscular. If threatened, he can jump up to two metres from standing.