原版书书名：Perl Cookbook, Second Edition
The animal featured on the cover of Perl Cookbook, Second Edition is a bighorn
sheep. Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) are wild sheep noted, not surprisingly, for
their large, curved horns. Male bighorns grow to approximately 5 feet long and 40
inches tall to the shoulder and weigh up to 350 pounds. Their horns measure up to
18 inches in circumference and 4 feet long and can weigh up to 30 pounds. Despite
their bulk, bighorns are adept at negotiating mountainous terrains. With their sharp, cloven hooves they can walkon ledges as thin as two inches. They have excellent
eyesight that enables them to locate footholds and to accurately judge distances
between ledges. They can jump as far as 20 feet from ledge to ledge.
Competition for ewes is intense and often leads to fierce battles that can continue for
a full day. During the battle two rams race at each other at speeds of up to 20 miles
an hour, clashing their horns together. The skull of the bighorn sheep is doublelayered
to provide protection from these blows. Horn size is a significant factor in
determining rank, and rams will only fight other rams with an equivalently sized
horn. Mature males usually stay apart from the females and young. In these “bachelor
flocks” the lower-ranking males often play the part of ewes and behave in a
submissive manner toward the dominant males. The dominant male, in turn,
behaves like a courting ram and mounts the lower-ranking male. This behavior is
believed to enable the rams to live together without rankdisputes that might otherwise
drive the lower-ranking males out of the flock.
Bighorns can be found in the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Colorado and in the
desert from California to west Texas and Mexico. They are threatened with extinction
as a result of disease, habitat reduction, and hunting.