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Teacher's Prompt: Climbing Aoudad

It’s Wildlife Writing Wednesday, and we’ve compiled some additional information for you as the instructor in case:

  • you want to offer any introductory discussion for your students before releasing the prompt to them

  • it is helpful for you in your evaluation/understanding

  • this understanding helps you to alter the prompt for grade level


The Aoudad is closely related to both goats and sheep. However, the Aoudad is neither a goat nor a sheep. Even though it is sometimes referred to as a Barbary Sheep, it is its own category of animal. As the photo suggests, Aoudad love to climb. They are native to the northern regions of Africa, which offers a dry, rough, barren and waterless habitat in mountainous or rocky country. What physical characteristics does this animal have to support itself and survive in that environment?

The Aoudad is Vulnerable to extinction according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Physical Characteristics: The aoudad stands about 102 cm (40 inches) at the shoulder. It has a fringe of long, soft hair hanging from its throat and forequarters and has semicircular horns that curve outward, back, and then inward over the neck. Both fringe and horns are more pronounced in the male. The aoudad occurs in dry, mountainous, or rocky country and lives in small family groups. It can go without water for about five days. When threatened, the aoudad stands motionless and is concealed by its tawny brown coat, which blends in with the surrounding rocks. (Encyclopedia Britannica)


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