Bukharan Markhor Goat – Head Butting

The Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) is a large species of wild goat. It is also known as the Tadjik Markhor, the Turkmenian Markhor, or the Screw Horn Goat. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal. 

The female Bukharan Markhor is pregnant for about 150 days (5 months), before giving birth to 1-2 live young, called kids. The photographed kids were born born 23-28 May 2020, so they are now two-and-a-half months old.

Both the male and the female have curled, corkscrew horns in a V-shape, but the male horns are much larger. 

Bukharan Markhor

Kids butt horns as part of normal, natural behaviour. Instead of actually butting horns, their horns are small and so they are butting heads. They are head butting as part of communicating play, competition, aggression, and to show dominance.

Head butting is done by lowering the head, flattening the ears, and hitting each other with the head.

The Bukharan Markhor has shaggy, light-brown to black fur. Both the male and the female have a beard. The female is redder in colour with shorter hair, and a short black beard, without a mane. 

It measures 65-115 centimetres (26-45 inches) tall. The horns of the male can grow up to 160 centimetres (63 inches) long, and the horns of the female can grow up to 25 centimetres (10 inches) long. 

The Markhor is native to Central Asia, India, and Pakistan. It prefers mountainous forests, especially very steep and mountains that are inaccessible to humans and most other animals. It is an excellent, sure-footed climber. 

The Bukharan Markhor is diurnal, active during the day. It is a grazer, eating grass. 

Bukharan Markhor
Bukharan Markhor
Bukharan Markhor
Bukharan Markhor
Bukharan Markhor
Bukharan Markhor
Bukharan Markhor
Bukharan Markhor (adult male)
Bukharan Markhor (adult male)

Location of photographs: Paris Zoo, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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