Posted by: atowhee | December 2, 2013


There aren’t many humans in Butte Valley, esp. in the National Grasslands, but there are some other large mammals:ELKHERD1 (1280x960)

ELKHERD2 (1280x960)

PRONG AFIELD (1280x960)

Elk and pronghorn. The pronghorn is the last surviving member of an ancient family that dates back 20 million years. The pronghorn, in fact, evolved its speed back when cheetahs still roamed the American continent. The cheetahs extinction here left the pronghorn unchallenged for speed.
They have especially adapted eyes that protrude so far from the skull that the pronghorn has stereoscopic vision to the rear as well as the front. You will never see this animal before it sees you.
We who live around deer are used to seeing them gracefully bound over barriers four feet high or more. The speedy pronghorn doesn’t jump, if possible it slides like Ricky Henderson and goes under the tag, or the fence, at high speed. It is one of only two American species that can derive nutrition from eating sage brush. The other is aptly named Sage Grouse.

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