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The Alpine ibex, (Capra ibex), is a species of wild goat that lives in the mountains of the European Alps. In its habitat region, the species is known as Bouquetin (French), Steinbock (German), Stambecco (Italian) and Kozorog (Slovenian). The Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica) and the Middle Eastern Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) are very close relatives of the Alpine ibex, and were formerly considered to be subspecies.

Compared with other members of its genus, the Alpine ibex has a short, broad head and a duller coat pattern. It has brownish grey hair over most of the body, with slightly darker markings on the chin and throat, and in a stripe along the back, and a pale abdomen. They moult twice a year, firstly in April or May, and then again in September, when they replace the short summer coat with thicker hair and a woolly undercoat. As with all goats, males have beards, while females do not. Males commonly grow to a height of 90 to 101 centimetres (35 to 40 in) at the withers, with a body length of 149 to 171 centimetres (59 to 67 in) and weigh from 67 to 117 kilograms (150 to 260 lb). Females are noticeably smaller, with a shoulder height of 73 to 84 centimetres (29 to 33 in), a body length of 121 to 141 centimetres (48 to 56 in), and a weight of 17 to 32 kilograms (37 to 71 lb). Both male and female Alpine ibexes have large, backwards-curving, horns with numerous ridges along their length. At 69 to 98 centimetres (27 to 39 in), those of the males are substantially larger than those of females, which reach only 18 to 35 centimetres (7.1 to 14 in) in length.

All Text and Images Copyright Michael Cummings ©


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