Snow Sheep (Russia)

Snow sheep have compact, muscular bodies and relatively short legs (compared with other Asian sheep) that are adapted to climbing precipitous terrain. The hoofs have cushiony pads that act as shock absorbers and grip on slippery rock. The coat is coarse and brittle, with each hair containing a sealed air pocket that serves as insulation. Hair texture is said to be quite different from that of North American sheep, being thick and woollike and becoming very long and shaggy in winter. The glands below the eyes are dark vertical skinfolds that protrude beyond the hair. Snow sheep have distinct rump patches, but do not have saddle patches, bibs or neck ruffs. The tail is broad and dark. The horns are homonymous, with the right horn growing in a right-handed spiral and left horn in a left-handed spiral, forming a tight curl of relatively small diameter. The horns are similar to those of the Dall and Stone sheep of North America, being brown or dark amber in color, fairly heavy and quite smooth, and with the frontal-orbital edge forming a prominent keel.

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