Blue Sheep or Bharal

Bharal or Blue Sheep, on a Himalayan rock pinnacle.In the Himalayan mountains predator and prey endure at the vertical limit of mammalian life on Earth. Here, only rock is in abundance. Every Himalayan life is precarious. Bharal (also known as Blue Sheep) are at home on the shear cliffs where a predator in pursuit of prey risks plummeting to its own death

Bharal are one of six different Himalayan species of mountain sheep and goat. They graze all over the mountains, but the key events in their lives happen in this vertical landscape.

Bharal hoovesBharal hooves are soft and rubbery for grip. Short legs reduce heat loss and lower the centre of gravity. To extract maximum oxygen from the thin air, Bharal blood is rich in red cells.

Camouflaged Blue SheepIts gut generates heat as it digests. Hollow hair fibres retain that heat. The bharal's top coat is perfect camouflage.

The major predator of Bharal is the snow leopard, about which I wrote a blog item some weeks ago.

These still frames are taken from NHNZ Images stockshot collections. Check out other intriguing, interesting and arresting moving images with the demo reels.