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Crazy Alphabet Challenge (with a twist): the letter I: Izard

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The « Izard » or « Isard » is the Pyrenean chamois in English. It is from the family « Rupicabra » and forms also a sub-family of of the bovine « Caprinae » just like goats and sheeps. It is considered a genre of goat-antelope.

The « Izard » roams mainly in the Pyrenees mountains in Spain and France, the Cantabrian mountains in Spain and the Appenine mountains in Italy.

The female « Isard » can weigh anywhere between 25-32 kg (55-71 pounds) while the male can weigh between 25-40 kg (55-88 pounds). Their heights can be anywhere between 70 to 80 cm (2 feet 30 inches to 2 feet 60 inches), thus they are rather small. Their horns which both male and female have can measure up to 30 cm (.98 inches). The males, though, have a thicker horn with an anterior-posterior axis which presents a stronger and more pointed arch towards the back. The females’ horn are more brittle and less arqued toward the back and have a more rounded edge at the back. Below you can see a picture of what looks like a male’s horn.

Just like lions or some other animals, the male « Izard » lives a solitary life until it is time to mate in October and November while the female lives within a group of other females and their youngsters. The male « Isard » also is differentiated from the female by his stronger and more massive neck and by his horns being more spaced, more curved and shorter than the female’s horns.

The « Izards » have suffered throughout due to man’s encroachment on their territory and hunting until parks have been created and re-introduction of the « Isards » to the parks. They now number anywhere between 4000 to 8000 in all the Pyrenees.

The etymology of the word « Izard » or « Isard » seems to be contested. Some say that it comes from its pyrennean or Iberian word « Izardo » while other say it comes from the Basque langage « Izzara » meaning star.

The pronunciation of the word « Izard » or « Isard » is the same. The I is pronounced like the English letter « e » and the « zard » or « sard » is pronounces just like the « zard » of « lizard ».

So this was the letter I and next week will be the letter J. See you next week.

What do you think?

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Written by HistoryGal

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