State Symbols USA home page

Google

  SITEMAP  

  QUIZ  

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
USA (national)

Colorado State Animal:

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep - click to see all state mammals
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep - photo © James Ownby: My View of Nature
(used by permission). See All State Animals - Mammals.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

See Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep video below

The magnificent Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep was designated official state animal of Colorado in 1961. Named for their massive, curling horns (which can grow to 50 inches in length) and known for their agility and perfect balance, Rocky Mountain bighorns (Ovis canadensis) are found only in the Rockies (usually above the timberline) in extremely rugged terrain .

Their horns are not shed annually like the antlers of deer and elk, but grow in length and circumference throughout the sheep's life (a pair can weigh nearly 30 pounds). Fewer than 45,000 bighorn sheep are scattered through the western United States and Canada in small, isolated herds. Uncontrolled hunting caused the extinction of the bighorn subspecies that once lived in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota (the three small herds that exist there now were transplanted from other states). Today it is illegal to pursue, take, hunt, wound, or kill the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep except as provided by law.

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are very social animals, generally separated into two groups. Mature rams stay in one group while the ewes, lambs, and young rams congregate separately (rams stay with the "nursery group" until 2- 3 years of age). The groups join during the rut (mid November through late December) and sometimes for a short period in the spring.

Ram bands have a social hierarchy established by body and horn size. Dramatic head- butting occurs between mature rams to determine leadership and dominance, but once the hierarchy is established, rams live in the same group with little further conflict (normal life span is 10 to 12 years).

Source:
Colorado State Archives Symbols & Emblems: CO.gov
State Animal: Colorado Dept. of Personnel & Administration
Mammals - Bighorn Sheep: My View of Nature by J. Ownby
Links:
All State Animals - Mammals


    

 

Colorado Symbols & Icons:

animal - bird
fish - insect
flower - grass
tree - soil
fossil - mineral
gemstone - rock

flag - seal - motto
name - nickname
song 1- song 2
museum - quarter
dance - tartan
reptile - sports
 

Share |

Buford the Little Bighorn by Bill Peet
Buford the Little Bighorn
by Bill Peet - a family classic!

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Video:

See more state mammal videos

Colorado Gifts- Gifts by State

Google

What are your State Symbols?
State Symbols USA is a nonprofit organization promoting the conservation
and appreciation of our natural treasures and cultural heritage.