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Bighorn sheep identification?

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by DinosaurDude, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. DinosaurDude

    DinosaurDude New Member

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    Hello,

    A colleague is trying to determine which subspecies of sheep this mount belongs to. I believe that there are three generally accepted subspecies of Ovis canadensis - O.c. canadensis, O.c. sierrae, and O.c. nelsoni. I'm not sure if there are any obvious external physical characteristics that are distinct to each of these, but I thought that perhaps the taxidermy community may know of some. Any opinions out there as to the identity of this sheep?

    Thanks!

    Michael

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  2. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Granted I am no sheep expert but it appears to be an Argali to me.
    Jim
     

  3. DinosaurDude

    DinosaurDude New Member

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    The horns seem pretty wide (tip to tip) for a North American sheep to me, and the animal looks pretty tall in the photo (although some of that could be an artifact of perspective). I think you may be right, Jim.

    Michael
     
  4. I'm with Jim, it looks a lot more like a species of Argali to my eye from that angle. Height/size of the body, horn structure, horn length, horn ridges/annuli, etc all look a lot more like an Argali than any Bighorn sub-species.
     
  5. J Kelly

    J Kelly Member

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    Ovis Ammon Ammon…….Argali from Mongolia for sure.
     
  6. DinosaurDude

    DinosaurDude New Member

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    J Kelly -

    Are there characteristics which make the Argali population in Mongolia distinct from those in other regions?

    Michael
     
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch I hunt therefore I am.

    There are many species and subspecies of Argali in and outside Mongoia. The lack of a heavy mane and massive horn bases indicates that it is either a Gobi, Hangia or Altai Argali. It is not clear which one since there is very little difference other than Horn size and geography between them. Gobi is the smallest and this would be good one. Hangai are in the middle and this would also be an OK ram. Altai is the largest and while this could be one, it is less likely than the other 2.