Species / International Ovis

Altay Argali

Ovis ammon ammon


Found mainly in the Altay Mountains of western Mongolia. Extends marginally northward into the Gorno-Altai and Tuva republics of Siberian Russia, westward into extreme northeastern Kazakhstan, and southwestward into northern Xinjiang, China.


Shoulder height about 48 inches, possibly more. Weight 400-450 pounds, sometimes more. The largest wild sheep in the world, with the largest and most massive horns. The horns have rounded frontal edges, are heavily corrugated, and when fully developed will form more than a complete circle. The longest horns of record measured 71 3/4 inches. Bases exceeding 22 inches have been recorded. Horns and skull, without the lower jaw, can weigh as much as 75 pounds. General color in winter is light brown tinged with gray. Rump patch, belly, lower legs and face are white. Summer coat is much shorter and lighter, with the upper parts a uniformly speckled brown and white, and the rump patch only slightly lighter than the back.


The Altay argali is the largest of all wild sheep.

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