Under Construction May 2011


Oreamnos americanus


Length: 60mm max (Moore et al 1974), 100-120mm 150max (ASM #1), 95-100mm (ASM #5 neck), 90-120mm (ASM#6 Winter coat version), 30-40mm (ASM#7 early fall animal)

Diameter Range: 220 microns (Moore et al 1974), 55 microns (ASM #1), 165-175 microns (ASM #6 Winter coat version) has lots of wavy kinks and twists.  130-145 on early fall goat (ASM #7) didn’t have as many kinks and twists as the winter fur. 

Medullary Index:0.45 (ASM #1) 0.66-0.78 (ASM #6) 0.62-0.69 (ASM #7)

Medulla:  Present, Continuous, very dark and hard to see features, but among the hoofed animals it is the only one with both a honeycomb medulla and a sizeable cortex.  Medulla gets interrupted and is not present at tip, and tip has long taper.

Color: White.  Dots in cortex may be cortical fusi or ovoid bodies? (ASM #6 and #7)

Scales: Scales are overlapping with moderate space between the scale margins, some margins have smooth edges and come to blunt point like a cusp.  On the scale cast, scales have a torn-paper like quality (ASM #1)  Scales seem to be only one across?  Doesn’t seem to change shape on all samples (ASM #6) but one sample showed distinctive tall narrow scales near the base, like tall diamonds or snakeskin.  This did not appear on any of the other hoofed animals.


Length: 30-45mm (ASM #1) 30-40mm (ASM #2) 45mm (ASM #5 neck) 20-25mm (ASM #6) 15-20mm (early fall animal ASM #7)

Diameter Range: 25 microns ( ASM #1)

Medullary Index: 0.4

Medulla: 10 microns. Present. Continuous, Uniserial Ladder

Color: White

Scales: Stacked crowns.  

Macro Qualities: 3.9 to 7 feet long.  Creamy white but sometimes with a yellowish or brown line on the side (Forsyth 1999).  All-white, shaggy winter coat with crest of long erect hair up to 8” or more along the shoulders, neck, spine and rump.  By mid-July the winter coat is shed and the summer coat is short, soft and sleek  (ADF&G 2008).

Cultures:  For example: traditional Tlingit Chilkat robes use mountain goat wool

Notes: ASM #1 is from the ASM education collection pelt ring, ASM #2 is from a box of labeled pelts at ASM off site storage, ASM #3 is from an old slide in the ASM conservation lab, ASM #4 was a sample included in a book about Chilkat weaving, ASM #5 was from a taxidermy head at ASM off site storage, ASM #6 was “winter goat” and ASM #7 was “early fall” goat, both from the Juneau –Douglas City Museum touchboard, provided by local taxidermists.

Troubleshooting: Uniserial ladder medulla in underfur is special among the hoofed animals in Alaska.  Scale edge thickness of sheep’s wool is said to be helpful in distinguishing it from goat, especially mohair (Kusch and Arns 1983).

Range: Mostly panhandle and south central up to but not including the Kenai Peninsula (Forsyth 1999)  Mountainous areas of Southeast and Southcentral Alaska. More in Chugach and Wrangell mountains in Southcentral than the Talkeetna mountains.  They have also been introduced to non-native areas such as Kodiak, Chichagof, and Baranof Islands and recently to Revillagigedo Island  (ADF&G 2008).

Names: Order Artiodactyla (the even-toed ungulates) Family Bovidae (the bovids)   Part of a group of mountain ungulates called “rock goats” (ADF&G 2008).  Sometimes called a Mazama or moufflon, although these terms are inaccurate.

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