Ibex (Capra sp.) - Wiki
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[Photo] Nubian Ibex (Capra ibex nubiana). Photo by Aaron Logan http://www.lightmatter.net/
An ibex, also called steinbock, is a type of wild mountain goat with large recurved horns that are transversely ridged in front. Ibex are found in Eurasia, North Africa, and East Africa. The name ibex comes from Latin, borrowed from Iberian or Aquitanian, akin to Old Spanish bezerro "bull", modern Spanish becerro "yearling".
The five species of ibex are grouped with four other species in the genus Capra:
- The Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex) is found in the European Alps.
- - The Nubian Ibex (C. i. nubiana) occurs in the Middle East.
- The Walia or Ethiopian Ibex (Capra walie) is found in the Semien Mountains of the Ethiopian Highlands, where it is critically endangered. It is sometimes considered a subspecies of Alpine Ibex.
- The Iberian or Spanish Ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is now restricted to the Pyrenees and other mountainous enclaves in Spain.
- The kri-kri, also known as the Cretan Ibex or Cretan Wild Goat, is a subspecies of the Wild Goat (Capra aegagrus).
- The Asiatic or Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica) is found in central Asia and southern Siberia. It is sometimes considered a subspecies of Alpine Ibex.
- - The Himalayan Ibex (C. s. hemalayanus) is an endangered subspecies found in Khunjerab National Park in Northern Areas of Pakistan. (This national park is under the supervision of WWF, Pakistan.)
Myth and Legend
Legend had it that the ibex's spine was rigid, so that the goat could not look back. If threatened from behind, it would jump off a precipice and land unharmed on its horns.
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