Mountain Goats

Mountain goats aren't really goats. They're more closely related to the antelope. Mountain goats fit the name quite well. They live high in the mountains in northwestern North America. Mountain goats are well adapted to their rugged environment.

Mountain goats have very fluffy white hair covering their bodies. Long hair hanging from their chins look like beards. The long hair on their legs makes it seem like the mountain goats are wearing pants. The hair does keep the mountain goat warm. It also serves as good camouflage against the snow. Predators might have a hard time spotting a mountain goat on a snowy slope. Mountain goats must watch out for animals such as coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats.

Mountain goats are very sure-footed. They have special footgear that helps them climb among the rocks. Mountain goats have cloven hoofs. Their hoofs are split, or divided. This helps the mountain goat balance. The bottom of each hoof is covered with thick skin. This skin acts like a rubber suction cup to help the mountain goat jump from rock to rock. The mountain goat can also use its front feet to pull itself up to a higher rocky ledge in the same way a person uses his/her arms.

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