An Introduction to Pronghorn Biology, Ethnography and Archaeology

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

Publication Date



Commonly called “antelope” in North America, biologists normally prefer to call this animal the pronghorn (Antilocapra americana). Pronghorn are animals of the open plains and have adapted , to this environment with excellent eyesight, extraordinary speed, and a well-developed ability to broad-jump. Hunters of the past and present have exploited several aspects of pronghorn behavior, particularly their curiosity, reluctance to jump vertically, and predictable movements. Pronghorn were a significant food resource for native peoples across western North America, where they were hunted by a variety of methods, including communal drives of herds into corrals. Archaeological evidence for prehistoric pronghorn hunting is widespread, but evidence for large communal drives akin to those used for bison on the Great Plains is limited.


This article was originally published in Plains Anthropologist. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Plains Anthropologist