"Dam" Ibex are the Ultimate Rock Climbers

10/12/2010

Ibex on Dam As someone who is afraid of heights, this makes my palms sweat.  A group of Alpine ibex made news recently by scaling an almost completely vertical dam in Italy and giving new meaning to the term "sure-footed." 

Ibex primarily feed on grasses and other vegetation, but these particular ibexes were attracted to the dam to lick the mineral-rich rocks.  If you know anything about ibexes, which are a kind of wild goat, it really isn't all that surprising, considering that their natural habitat is the rocky slopes of the Alps and other mountainous areas.  But seeing it really shows how well-adapted these creatures are to their environment, and how evolution has equipped some animals with amazing and odd abilities.

 

VIDEO: See the ibexes in action.  Keep in mind that the first video is shot from above (the ibex is not on its side).

 

 

Photo from gulliver.it.


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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