Southern Arizona News-Examiner Photo Editor Sally Reichardt was asked by noted wildlife photographer Jim Gressenger to accompany him on a photo “hunt” for pronghorn in southeast Arizona. Of course, she said “yes!”
Gressenger also publishes the Southern Arizona Guide. He’s also the author of “Southern Arizona’s Extraordinary History Amazing True Stories from Southern Arizona Guide.” He also was an author at the 2016 Empire Ranch Roundup and he supports the Empire Ranch with his Empire Ranch articles.
The pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is a species of artiodactyl mammal indigenous to interior western and central North America, according to Wikipedia. Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the American antelope, prong buck, pronghorn antelope, or simply antelope because it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World and fills a similar ecological niche due to parallel evolution.
It is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae. During the Pleistocene period, about 12 antilocaprid species existed in North America. Three other genera (Capromeryx, Stockoceros and Tetrameryx]) existed when humans entered North America but are now extinct.
As a member of the superfamily Giraffoidea, the pronghorn’s closest living relatives are the giraffes and okapi. The Giraffoidea are in turn members of the infraorder Pecora, making pronghorns more distant relatives of the Cervidae (deer) and Bovidae (cattle, goats, sheep, and antelopes), among others.
Below is the result of their morning photo “hunt.” Reichardt says the pronghorns weren’t exactly cooperative. But, the pair managed to find a couple of pronghorns in the Elgin area just east of Sonoita.
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