Body coat is sandy brown to tan in the summer, generally transitioning to a grayish color in winter months. Hindquarters may appear more pale in color and most underparts are white. Underside of tail and long tuft of chin hair (goatee) are black. Males also have a small black ridge of hair running along their backs. Leg coloration and horn configuration often distinguish nubian ibex from other ibexes. Short, stout legs are marked with distinct black and white markings. Large, semicircular horns grow up, back, curl downward and are marked with 24 to 36 knobby ridges along the outer curve (prominent in males). Length of adult male horns average 30 inches but reach upwards of 4+ feet (record 54.5 inches). Female horns are much thinner and shorter, growing from 5 to 14 inches. Males generally weigh 100 to 165 lbs, but can exceed 200 lbs., while females range from 55 to 90 lbs.
Well adapted to rocky terrain and dry climates. Short burst and nimble runners on rocks and slopes, but slow on flat terrain and have very little stamina. Drink water daily, but are well adapted to dry climates with long periods without available water. Shiny coat reflects sun and solar radiation; used as a cooling mechanism. Thick undercoat also used to keep warm in colder conditions. Will seek shade of vegetation or crevasse during midday heat. Though coat is semi-waterproof, ibex do not enjoy getting wet, seeking shelter during rain storms. Males fight in summer to establish hierarchy ranking, thus very little sparring during the rut. Older adult males are often solitary while females and immature males form small herds, with kids staying with their mothers until the age of 3.
Food Habits Move among rocks and open slopes in search of grasses, shoots, and leaves. Rest periodically to chew cud before moving along to find more food. Will stand on hind legs (similar to some domestic goat species) to reach foliage of low hanging trees. Take to browse in winter when fresh leaves and grasses are at a premium.
Females have a gestation of 5 to 5.5 months and have 1 to 3 kids per season. Males become sexually mature at 2 to 3 years, but are not competitive until age 4. Females mature at 1.5 to 2.5 years. Breed only once a year, with a short rutting period, generally in the Fall (between August and October). Give birth in early Spring (February to April).