Fun Markhor Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Markhor Facts For Kids

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The markhor (Capra falconeri) is a species of large mountain goat mostly native to central Asia. They are distinctively known for their beautiful majestic cork-screw-shaped horns. They are the largest goat species to exist. Markhors are active in the early morning and late afternoon making them diurnal (active during daytime). They are also sexually dimorphic (males and females have distinguishing appearance and characteristics), but they reach sexual maturity at 18-30 months, where females mature much faster. The males are much bigger and heavier, females are social whereas males are loners. They have a gestation period of 135-170 days, half of the humans'. They are wild goats and can't be tamed to use as domestic livestock. They are also Pakistan's national animal. If you want to read more about these majestic creatures, keep reading ahead.

If you like to read about various animal facts, then please check out more similar on mountain goat and quoll.

Fun Markhor Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

71-240 lb

How long are they?

52-73 in

How tall are they?

26-45 in

What do they look like?

Brown, grey-black, white, or tan with twisted horns

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Wolves, Snow Leopards

What is their conservation status?

Near threatened

Where you'll find them?

And Mountains, Open Woodlands, Scrublands


Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, And Northern India.









Markhor Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a markhor?

A markhor (Capra falconeri) is species of wild goat.

What class of animal does a markhor belong to?

Markhor (Capra falconeri) is a mammal.

How many markhors are there in the world?

There was approximately 2000-4000 markhor left in the world but the current population is slightly less than 10,000 all over the world after conservation efforts.

Where does a markhor live?

Markhors are native to Asia. The markhor (Capra falconeri) are terrestrial animals, so Astor markhor lives in the Indian region of Kashmir,  Northern Pakistan, and Eastern Afghanistan at altitudes of up to 3,600m (11,800ft). Bukharan markhor or Heptner’s markhors live in Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and possibly parts of Afghanistan, up to 13,000 ft above sea level. Kabul and Suleiman live in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Kashmir. They migrate from higher altitudes to lower altitudes during winter and return back in summer.

What is a markhor's habitat?

Markhor goat (Capra falconeri) is a species of mountain goats even though their habitats vary according to the subspecies but they all prefer arid cliffside habitat in the scrublands, open woodlands, and the rocky terrain of Karakoram and the Himalayas in central Asia in the mountains temperate forests. Markhors avoid deep snow especially during winters in higher altitudes.

Who do markhors live with?

This mountain goat species markhor lives in a flock of 9-10 in number. The flock composes of adult female markhors and their young ones. Adult males prefer to be solitary. They also share the rocky terrain with domestic livestock such as domestic goats, sheep, and more.

How long does a markhor live?

A wild markhor (Capra falconeri) has a lifespan of at least 12-13 years.

How do they reproduce?

Both the males and female markhors reach sexual maturity at 18-30 months old. According to markhor mating facts, during mating season in winter when the males start rutting, the males' fight for attention by inter-locking their horns with other males and twists and pushes them for females' attention. An adult female markhor has a gestation period of 135-170 days after which they give birth to one or two kids. Baby markhors weaned at five to six months old.

What is their conservation status?

Wild markhors have been listed as 'near threatened' species in the present IUCN red-list, which is a progress from the 'endangered' and 'critically endangered' species status a few years ago, after heavy action has been taken. The markhor conservation includes Jammu and Kashmir’s Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1978 and markhor poaching and hunting was completely banned with hefty consequences.

The markhor five major sub-species each have their own conservation status. The Kashmir markhor (Capra falconeri cashmiriensis),  Kabul markhor or straight-horned markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros),  Astor markhor or flare-horned markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri) are endangered, and the Sulaiman markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni), Bukharan markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) are critically endangered.

Markhor Fun Facts

What do markhors look like?

Males can grow their horns up to 63 in long, and females' horns can grow to 10 in. The markhor has a brown, grey-black, white, or tan coat (females are more reddish) with white underpants and black and white patterns on their legs with long shaggy fur around their necks and chest like a mane and a black-colored face. The mane is more prominent and longer in males and has a long beard on its chin. The thickness of their coat is short and smooth in summer and thicker in winter. The markhors are known for their corkscrew-shaped horns found in males and females alike, and are of three types, such as straight- horns, flared outward horns, and the classic cork-screw horns depending on the subspecies.

Markhor facts are very informative.

How cute are they?

Markhors are regarded as magnificent creatures because of their long twisted horns. It is better to call them beautiful and strong than cute. This wild goat species with beautifully shaped horns and multiple colored coats can be quite aggressive at times, especially males as they love battling each other with their horns. But the male markhor has an extremely strong and staunch odor to repel predators and domestic goats.

How do they communicate?

Markhors are always scanning their territory for predators. They have keen eyesight and a strong sense of smell to detect their predators. When a markhor feels threatened or alarmed they give out an alarm call that is very similar to a goat bleat to communicate with others.

How big is a markhor?

Markhor is the largest of the goat family. This wild goat, Capra falconeri of family Bovidae and order Artiodactyla stand at 26-45 in till the shoulder, with a 52-73 in long body, weighing about 71-240 lb.

How fast can a markhor move?

A markhor can move at approximately 10 mph. They have wide hooves to help them keep their balance while walking or climbing their uneven rocky terrain. They have a wide stance to avoid wobbling and falling off the mountainsides.

How much does a markhor weigh?

Markhors weigh about 71-240 lb. The males are twice the size weighing about 170-242 lb and the females weigh about 70-88 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Markhor is a goat species, so male markhors are called rams or bucks and female markhors are called does or nannys.

What would you call a baby markhor?

A baby markhor is also a goat, so it's called a 'kid'.

What do they eat?

Markhors are herbivores in nature and prefer to feed on various grasses, leaves, twigs, and shrubs. Since they are diurnal animals, they are mainly active during the early morning and late afternoon and their diet shift depends on the season. They graze in spring and summer and browse the tree line during winter.

Are they dangerous?

Markhors are not dangerous animals. They aren't extremely friendly either. But wild markhors live peacefully in the mountains where female markhor go around grazing in herds of 8-10 and the male markhor live in solitary when it's not mating season. They might attack with their horns and push the enemy with great strength if they feel threatened as a defense mechanism. Males are a bit more aggressive than females. Markhors are extremely aggressive during mating season as they fight with other males.

Would they make a good pet?

Markhors are wild goats and they live in rocky mountains, they love to jump and climb around mountains for food. They are not ideal for domestication at all because they would never be able to adjust. Even in zoos, they are kept with other mountain goats or wild goats like Ibexes and Tahrs. Also, markhors, especially males have a staunch strong odor, stronger than a domestic goat, that can be smelled from far, which actually helps them repel predators.

Did you know...

The markhor has been featured in the World Wide Fund for Nature Conservation Coin Collection in 1976, along with 72 other animals.

Markhors were known to eat serpents (a reputation shared by the Garuda from the Indian epic Mahabharata) in folklore. But contrary to popular and local beliefs and myths, markhors don't actually eat snakes they are pure herbivores.

Markhors can go to great lengths or heights for food. Not only they stand on their hind legs to reach higher branches but sometimes climb up a tree line to get the tastiest leaves.

Markhors are believed to be ancestors of popular domestic goat breeds such as the Girgentana goat of Sicily, Changthangi goat of Ladakh and Tibet, the Bilberry goat of Ireland, Angora goat, and various Egyptian goat breeds.

The national animal of Pakistan

The markhor is the national animal of Pakistan and also known as the 'screw-horned goat' in Pakistan. The name 'markhor' has been derived from Persian, where 'mâr' means 'serpent' and the 'Khor' is Persian for 'eater'. Although this folklore myth isn't true, Markhors often stomp on a snake to protect its kids and females. They mostly live in the  Hunza, Ghizar, and  Chitral regions of Northern Pakistan at an altitude of 1,500 ft to 11,000 ft, and descend to lower altitudes during winter, and vice versa. Pakistan has the highest number of markhors all over the world, with 2000-4000 markhors in wilderness. Markhors have a special ability where, while chewing the cud, a foam-like substance forms and falls on the ground; locals in Pakistan believed that this foam-like substances can be used to extract poison from snakebites or other wounds. In 2018, Pakistan International Airlines added a markhor image to formally rebrand every plane.

Is the markhor endangered?

Most subspecies of markhor are endangered, such as the straight horned markhor and the Kabul Markhor, but currently, markhor (Capra falconeri) is listed as 'near threatened' in the IUCN red-list. This is due to the extreme poaching of these magnificent goats and habitat loss due to deforestation. Markhors were almost extinct with less than 1000 left, a decade ago. Now because of constant measure and declaring markhor poaching illegal in three major countries of their habitat, they have revived their population, and near about 6000 markhors are left.

Despite all the measures that have been taken, poachers still hunt these creatures illegally for their horns, fat, skin, and meat, as they are quite expensive, quickly depleting their population. The Bukharan markhor are critically endangered now.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Giant Anteater, or Plains Zebra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our billy goat coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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