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Taxonomy Of The Antelope


Fri Sep 16 10:58:00 MDT 2011

Montana’s antelope are actually pronghorns. The pronghorn is not a deer, antelope or goat, even though its scientific name, Antilocapra americana, means American antelope goat.

The genus the antelope is in, Antilocapra, is unique to America and has only one species in it. It resulted from joining the Latin antholop, meaning pronghorn, and capra, meaning goat.

Other common local names for antelope include: prong-buck, goat, speed-goat and loper. The Mexican term is berrendo meaning pinto. The pronghorn’s closest genetic relative is the giraffe!

That said, here in the Rocky Mountains we continue to refer to the pronghorn as an antelope—even if the animal has no connection to the ungulates of the same name in Asia and Africa.