Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pronghorns!

Traveling to Utah for a family reunion was a first-time visit to the state. We had just a few hours to go in search of wildlife, and chose Antelope Island at the the Great Salt Lake in hopes of seeing Pronghorns for the very first time. Luck was with us as we spotted a herd just a few miles in.



(Click on photo to see details!)

Did you know that these guys stand only 3 feet tall? I found that surprising...



Their cute faces and interesting colors fascinated us the whole time!



Just above the brushy landscape, on the right in the photo, is a small wedge of the Great Salt Lake. Here are some facts about this lake:

The Great Salt Lake is basically the remaining portion of a larger lake that existed in prehistoric times known as Lake Bonneville. During the time when this lake was at its largest size, it was almost as large as Lake Michigan, and considerably deeper too. It covered an area approximately ten times more than the Great Salt Lake and was more than 1,000 feet deep. During the Great Ice Age, or the Pleistocene epoch, it covered large potions of today’s Utah as well as smaller areas of Nevada and Idaho. Great Salt Lake is a shallow body of water, its average depth being but a little more than three feet, while in many parts it is much less. The water is transparent, but excessively salt; it contains about 22 per cent of common salt, slightly mixed with other salts, and forming one of the purest and most concentrated brines in the world. Its specific gravity is 1.17. The water is so buoyant that a man may float in it at full length upon his back, having his head and neck, his legs to the knee, and both arms to the elbow, entirely out of water. If he assumes a sitting posture, with his arms extended, his shoulders will rise above the water. Swimming, however, is difficult as the lower limbs tend to rise above the surface, and the brine is so strong that to swallow even a very little of it will cause strangulation.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Hi,
I did not know about these small nice guys... They are cute and I do love the last pictures of the herd. it is so beautiful to see them in their environment like this! Well done!

sweet bay said...

Very interesting post! I did not know the natural history of Great Salt Lake. I didn't realize Pronghorn were quite that small either. They look dressed for winter.

Montanagirl said...

As it turns out, we have been to Antelope Island before on one of our visits to see our kids who live in Layton, UT. As I recall it, I think we saw more Buffalo than Antelope! Nice photos.

jalynn01 said...

I so enjoyed these little guys..have never seen one in person. Interesting facts about Salt Lake. You always manage to get us a nice photograph or two and interesting facts when you go somewhere. Thanks!

Eve said...

I would love to see the Pronghorn and the Great Salt Lake someday!
Thanks Hannibal!

Shelley said...

Those pronghorns are such dapper looking fellows! Great photos!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

You caught that first one in a private moment.LOL THese animals are sure good looking.
Blessings,Ruth

Johnny Nutcase said...

Fun trip! great photographs. Pronghorn are adorable! The last time I got a good look at them, i didn't know how to use the camera well. I love that first shot...such a cutie! Like the history info too!