Rock Goats also known as Rocky mountain goat or simply mountain goat is a hoofed mammal inhabiting North America. Its scientific name is Oreamnos americanus.
Despite its name it does not exactly belong to Goat family but is only closely allied and is properly known as goat-antelope.
These wonderful creatures have strong hoofs enabling them to move up and down the rocks without letting them fall. This incredible feature makes them good mountain habitant. Their entire life is spent roaming on difficult peaks and rocks. The most important thing that makes them adaptive to rock climbing is their slim body. If they fall down that will be because of a fight among themselves.
Mountain goats have generally life span of 10-15 years and their life span gets diminished with the wearing down of their teeth. Weighing about 100-300 pounds these goats mainly survive on grass, herb, foliage, twig, lichen, alpine fir and other conifers. They sometimes excavate their food from beneath snow. They are very susceptible to parasites of all kinds mainly stomach worms resulting in anemia and death.
These goats are the largest mammals found in high altitude areas which can exceed upto 13000 ft/4000 mt. You will be surprised that these high altitude mammals sometimes descend to sea levels if found along coastal areas. Living in high altitude protects them from predators which are mainly grizzly bears, wolves and cougars. They can very well see their predators in night also.
Did you know family wise a male goat is called “billies”, female goat is “nannie” and baby goat is called “kids”.
These goats were never heard being domesticated or commercialized so use of their wool is unheard till now.