Sunday, May 22, 2011

MARKHOR (National animal of Pakistan)


The Markhor (Capra falconeri) is a large species of wild goat that is found in Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Nagar Valley, northern and central Pakistan.  The Markhor is the National Animal of Pakistan.

The name is derived from the Persian word “Mar”, meaning snake, and “khor”, meaning "eating", which is sometimes interpreted to either represent the species' ability to kill snakes.  Markhor has the ability to kill the snake and eat. It is also possibility that name is derived as a reference to its corkscrewing horns, which are somewhat reminiscent of coiling snakes.

Markhor stand 65 to 115 centimetres at the shoulder, 132 to 186 centimetres in length. It has the highest maximum shoulder height among the species in the genus Capra. It weigh  32 to 110 kilograms .The skin is of a grayish, light brown to black color, and is smooth and short in summer, while growing longer and thicker in winter. The fur of the lower legs is black and white. Markhor males have longer hair on the chin, throat, chest and shanks. Females are redder in color, with shorter hair, a short black beard, and are mane less. Both sexes have tightly curled, corkscrew-like horns which close together at the head, but spread upwards toward the tips. The horns of males can grow up to 160 cm long, and up to 25 cm.

Markhor are adapted to mountainous environment, and can be found between 600-3,600 meters in elevation. In the season of spring and summer periods they graze.  But turn in winter they surf only, sometimes standing on their hind legs to reach high branches. Markhor live in flocks, usually numbering nine animals, composed of adult females and their young.

The Markhor (Capra Falconeri) mainly inhabits the sparsely wooded mountainous regions in Northern and Western Pakistan, at an elevation of 600-3,600 m. The total world population is mainly found in Pakistan.

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