Ibex, a species of wild goat, inhabiting the mountainous regions of Switzerland, the Pyrenees, the Caucasus, and Abyssinia. The generic characters are given in the article Goat. The common ibex or steinbock (capra ibex, Linn.), the bouquetin of the Swiss hunters, is about 5 ft. long and 2 2/3 ft. high at the shoulders; the horns are large, flat, with two longitudinal ridges at the sides and numerous transverse knobs; at first nearly vertical, they curve backward and outward to a length of about 30 in.; they are dark colored and very stout. The color of the adult is brownish, with a gray tint in winter and reddish in summer; the hair is short and thick; the under parts are whitish, and the dorsal stripe blackish brown. The period of gestation is about 160 days, and the young are usually born in April. They prefer the highest and most inaccessible mountains, near the line of perpetual snow, and are accordingly hunted with great difficulty and danger. The Abyssinian ibex ( C. jaela, H. Smith), known to the Greek and Hebrew writers, is rather higher than the preceding species, with longer horns, more circular and less divergent, rounded in front and marked with numerous transverse ridges; the color of the hair is brownish fawn, with a dark dorsal line; under the throat and neck the hair is lengthened.
The Caucasian ibex (G. Caucasica, Guld.) is broader and shorter than the European species; the horns are triangular with distant ridges, very solid, dark brown, and about 28 in. long. The color is dark brown above, head grayish, breast and dorsal line blackish, and throat whitish gray; the hair is coarse, having at the roots a grayish wool. All these animals are remarkable for strength and agility, making immense bounds among the most dangerous precipices; they are said to fall from considerable heights upon the horns, when pressed by the hunter, and apparently receive no injury from the shock. They are all probably more or less mixed with the common wild goat (C. cegagrus) of Europe, and have contributed largely to the production of the numerous varieties of the domestic goat. (See Goat.)
Ibex (Capra ibex).