The Cingino Dam‘s rock wall is very steep, but its craggy surface provides just enough footing for these mountain goats to climb. But why would an Alpine ibex in northern Italy scale a nearly vertical wall? From the BBC:
Ibex seem to go to such lengths simply to compensate for their salt-deficient vegetarian diets, as the concrete provides them with an unconventional salt lick.
“That makes total sense because all animals crave salt, without it your nerves and muscles just don’t function properly and it’s especially important for mums when they’re feeding their young so maybe that’s why you only see females and their kids on this dam…”
Wild goats can pull off this high-altitude aplomb in part because of the “elastic and rubbery” sole pads on the bottoms of their hooves that facilitate adherence, along with a hard, sharp outer-hoof edge that makes use of “the small asperities of the rock surface…”
Next: Butterflies and bees drink turtle tears in the Peruvian Amazon, The Goat Brigade: Preventing Wildfires in Southern California, and more videos with salt.
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