Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) are the largest wild sheep in North America. They live in the western mountainous regions of North America, ranging from southern Canada to Mexico.
Males, called rams, can weigh over 300 pounds and stand over three feet tall at the shoulder. Females, called ewes, are roughly half this size. As their name suggests, bighorn sheep have true horns that they retain throughout their life. Males have large horns that curl around their faces by eight years that can weigh up to 30 lbs. Females have smaller horns that curve slightly to a sharp point within the first four years. Recent genetic testing indicates three distinct subspecies: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis; Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae), formerly called the California bighorn sheep; and desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni).
The bighorn sheep’s dramatic history includes reaching near extinction and making a significant recovery with the help of conservation efforts. The species still faces challenges. Separation between domestic sheep and bighorn is the key to long-term security and recovery of the species.
I really enjoyed creating this drawing, the different textures, especially the horns. I experimented and used a different and smoother paper - Bristol 500lb - and was able to draw the small details more easily.
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