Mountain Goats in Wyoming

“Mountain goats. Beartooth Plateau, Wyoming," writes Jay Anderson in sharing these three photos with us. "Part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.” These amazingly sure-footed climbers and leapers (able to soar up to 12 feet in a single bound) are not actually goats; they're part of a family that includes gazelles and antelopes. They're able to maneuver on steep slopes in part because their cloven hooves have inner gripping pads and sharp, curved, anti-slipping dewclaws and can be spread apart for traction. The age of a mountain goat can be determined by counting the growth rings on their horns, which they don't shed. Many thanks to Jay for his photos. Have you ever seen or photographed a mountain goat?