Why head goats head butt

Capra ibex, Alpine Ibex Capricorn


What does a Capricorn look like?

Ibex belong to the genus of goats and are also somewhat similar to them. They are about the same size and measure one to 1.5 meters from head to bottom and are 70 centimeters to one meter high. The females - they are also called stone goats - weigh around 50 kilograms, the males 80 to 125 kilograms. Capricorn males also have a short goatee, like goats.

While the females only have short horns about 20 centimeters long, those of the males are up to one meter long, weigh up to 15 kilograms and are slightly bent backwards.

The horns have thick bulges on the front. In cross-section, the horns of the females are round, those of the bucks triangular.

The tail of the animals is quite short, measuring only 15 centimeters. The rear legs of the animals are longer than the front legs so that they can walk safely on steep slopes.

Alpine ibex are adapted to a life in cold and harsh high mountains: their fur is therefore very dense.

In summer the females and young animals are gray-brown, the males chestnut-brown, in winter the fur of all animals is gray to dark gray.

The belly is lighter in color, sometimes almost white.

Where does the Capricorn live?

Ibex are found in the high mountains of Central Europe via Siberia to Central Asia and North Africa.

Alpine ibex are animals of the high mountains: They live above the tree line at an altitude of 2500 to 3500 meters and love rocky and scree regions where only a little scrub grows.

They rarely stay in the forest - usually only in April or May. Then they won't find anything to eat further up, while further down there are the first fresh blades of grass and juicy buds.

In the course of the summer they move higher and higher into the mountains. In winter they hike deeper down to the sunny south and south-west slopes.

What types of ibex are there?

The Iberian Ibex, which lives on the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the Bezoar goat, the mouflon and the chamois are very similar to the Alpine Ibex.

In addition, there are several subspecies of the ibex in the various distribution areas, such as the West Caucasian ibex, the East Caucasian ibex, the Siberian ibex, the Nubian ibex and the Abyssinian ibex.

How old do Capricorns get?

Capricorns live to be around 15 years old, but sometimes up to 20 years. The age of the males can be easily read from the so-called growth rings on the horns.


How do Capricorns live?

Ibex are diurnal animals. They feed mainly in the early morning and evening. During the day they usually rest and ruminate their food.

To do this, they look for shady spots and overhangs on rock walls, as they cannot tolerate heat well. On the other hand, they can withstand the cold very well thanks to their thick fur.

In summer, males and females live separately in groups of up to 30 animals. Some male Capricorns also roam alone.

During the mating season in winter, the males join the females.

When males quarrel over a female, fierce fighting ensues:

Both stand up on their hind legs, drop forward and collide with their horns with a loud crack.

Ibex are very nimble climbers and can also jump skillfully and safely from rock to rock.

Friends and enemies of Capricorn

Wolves, bears and lynxes can be dangerous to ibexes, but since they are rarely found here, adult ibexes have no natural enemies here. Young or sick animals can fall victim to vultures, eagles or ravens.

However, the greatest enemy of the ibex is humans: We have hunted ibexes almost to extinction. Their horns were coveted hunting trophies, and the ground horns and the blood of the animals were used to cure many diseases.

How do ibex reproduce?

The mating season for the ibex is in December and January. After about five and a half months, the young are born in May or June. Usually only one Capricorn baby is born, only very rarely there are two.

You can run right from the start, and by the age of four weeks you will be practicing climbing and jumping in small groups. Young ibex are suckled by their mother for six months, after which they are independent.

The daughters remain in the mother's pack, which is why most of the females in a pack are related to one another.

The male offspring leave the mother's pack at the age of two and join a group of male ibexes. They become sexually mature at the age of three.

How often ibex reproduce depends on the number of animals: if they live in small groups, they have young earlier and more often, do they live in large groups, they reproduce later and less often. This ensures that not too many ibex are born and that everyone finds enough food in their barren habitat.

How do Capricorns communicate?

Ibex can complain in a similar way to goats. They also whistle to warn of danger. If they're scared, bleat.


What does an ibex eat?

Ibex are pure vegetarians and have to cope with the meager food in the high mountains.

They eat grass, herbs, lichens and the shoots and buds of young shrubs and trees. In winter they are content with cushion plants and dry grass that they scrape out from under the snow.

Ibex are ruminants. This means that they choke their food out of the stomach several times and chew it again. In this way, they gain enough energy from very sparse food.

Keeping ibexes

Ibex are often kept in zoos. Offspring of these animals were au