What are mountain animals? The mountains are one of the most majestic ecosystems in the world. Whether it be the Rockies, the Swiss Alps, or the Himalayas, it’s safe to say that the mountains are a popular retreat for many around the world. Climbing, hiking, hunting, and relaxing are all beloved activities in the mountains. Aside from the beauty of the mountains themselves, they are home to lots of amazing animals. Let’s explore the world of mountain creatures!
What are Mountain Animals?
Mountain animals are animals that have adapted to the mountain ecosystem. These animals are good at climbing steep rocks and navigating rough terrain. The higher they go, the colder it gets. That’s why many mountain animals have also adapted to cold weather by growing thick fur coats. Winters in the mountains can be quite harsh, so anything that lives there (animals and plants alike) would have to have a strong biological advantage! Besides mammals, a variety of birds can also be found in these environments. Here’s a list of some common mountain animals.
List of Mountain Animals
- Mountain goats
Facts about Mountain Animals
- Bears reside in a variety of ecosystems, but they are most commonly found in or near mountains. Most brown bears in the US live in the Alaskan wilderness where mountain ranges are abundant. Other large populations live in European mountain ranges such as the Dinaric Alps.
- Bears’ senses far exceed any human’s. Their sense of smell, hearing, sight, and direction provide them with amazing survival skills, which are a necessity in the mountains.
- They are also very emotionally intelligent. They will do whatever it takes to save a family member – even so far as risking their own lives.
- The mountain goat’s name (and looks) are deceptive. In reality, they’re not goats at all, and are instead related to cattle and buffalo.
- They are the largest mammal found in high elevations: Up to 14,000 feet! Mountain goats ascend mountains to this point in order to avoid predators. They stay here during summer months, but start to descend as weather gets colder.
- Mountain goats are exclusively North American. They’re found in the Rocky Mountains, across the northwestern US, the Canadian alpines, and Alaska.
- Also called mountain lions, cougars are most commonly found in Washington state. However, there are populations scattered all over the western hemisphere. They’ve even been spotted in locations where there is no known cougar population, but vanish as quickly as they appeared. This makes them a very mysterious animal!
- Cougars are able to jump up to 40 feet. This is a useful skill in the mountains, where there may be large gaps in terrain.
- Adult cougars live and roam alone. Their solitude is likely why they pop up in unusual locations.
- Elk are very talented in running and jumping. They can run at 40 miles an hour and jump several feet upwards.
- The North American elk is the largest deer species in the world! This also makes them somewhat dangerous for humans who travel near them.
- Their antlers can grow up to an inch per day.
- Golden eagles can be found in the mountains of North America, North Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia while bald eagles are exclusive to North America.
- A bald eagle’s nest can weigh up to a ton! They can also be up to 13 feet deep. The bald eagle’s nest is the largest in the world.