Mountain Sheep vs Mountain Goat: 27 Comparative Analysis


Mountain Sheep vs Mountain Goat: 27 Comparative Analysis

Mountain sheep and mountain goat belong to the same family, yet they differ in several ways. Following is a list of comparison between the two based on their characteristics and behavior.

Comparative ParametersMountain SheepMountain Goat 
NameMale: Rams
Female: Ewes
Male: Billies
Female: Nannies 
SpeciesO. canadensisO. americanus 
TemperamentGregarious Gregarious
AggressionLessMore. They often show the aggression of mountain sheep to push them away from forage and habitat.
Assertion LessMore. They are more dominating.
Height76-104 cm1 m
Length140-200 cm120-179 cm
Weight99-300+ lbs.44-310 lbs.
Life Span10-12 years12-14 years
Fur/ CoatMultiple layers of  woolSingle layer of hairy fur
Tail ShapePointed downward, and longerPointed upward, and shorter 
Foraging GrazersBrowsers
Horns Curved, round, and wide
They use their horns mostly during the mating season.
Sharp and pointed forward
They use their horns to maintain their assertion.
Social Structure/ Herd TypeVery social, forming large flocks of up to 100Mountain goats maintain a strong social structure. They form flocks numbering between 5 and 30.
Group NameDriftDroveFlockFoldHerdMobTripBand
General Health ConditionSusceptible to health issuesHealthier and less susceptible to diseases
General LifestyleTerrestrialVivaporousCongregatoryTerrestrialVivaporousCongregatory
MigratoryYes(Seasonal basis)Altitudinal migrants(Based on altitudes)
Mobility in Newly HatchedAltricial
Note: The newly hatched ones are relatively immobile. 
Note: The newly born are mobile from the moment of birth.
Population (approx.)80-90 Thousand48-62 Thousand
Mating BehaviorPolygynyPolygyny
Reproductive SeasonNovember-DecemberLate October to early December
Pregnancy Duration150-180 days6 months
Conservation StatusLeast concernedLeast concerned
Comparative analysis between mountain sheep and mountain goat


Mountain sheep, and mountain goats vary in a wide range of ways. However, both species are communal and gregarious, feed on plants like grass and leaves, and are herd animals. We sincerely hope this comparison has given you a better understanding of these species.

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