Yellowstone Alphabet Book: PQRST

Two pronghorn bucks look at the camera while standing among sage brush

NPS / Neal Herbert

P is for Pronghorn

Pronghorn are the fastest runners in Yellowstone and can sustain sprints of 45 to 50 miles per hour, an adaptation to outrun an extinct cheetah. They are the surviving member of a group of animals that evolved in North America during the past 20 million years. It is not a true antelope, though they commonly referred to as antelope.

Two visitors watch from a boardwalk as Great Fountain Geyser erupts
Lower Geyser Basin

NPS / Jim Peaco

Q is for Thermus aQuaticus

In 1966, Thermus aquaticus was discovered by a park researcher in a park hot spring. An enzyme later discovered in Thermus aquaticus made rapidly replicating DNA practical and is seen as the biggest advance in that process for replicating DNA. Amplifying a segment of DNA to a billion exact copies in a few hours gives a scientist enough material to seriously study it.

The black feathers of a raven glisten in sunlight
Common raven

NPS / Neal Herbert

R is for Raven

Ravens are smart birds, able to put together cause and effect. Ravens are attracted to wolf kills and some have learned to follow wolves while they hunt. They wait until wolves finish at a carcass because ravens are not able to rip open thick skin.

Listen to ravens in our Sound Library.

A bighorn sheep ram stands on a rocky outcrop among juniper
Bighorn sheep

NPS / Jim Peaco

S is for Sheep

All bighorn sheep have horns. The rings on horns can be counted to determine, though it is easier to count the rings on a ram. Most bighorn sheep in Yellowstone are migratory and move between winter and summer ranges.

Two large white birds extend their wings while on a large, placid lake with snow-covered mountains in the background.
Trumpeter swans

NPS / Jim Peaco

T is for Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter swans are named for their call. They are the largest water bird in North America and have wingspans up to eight feet wide. In 2015, there were 23 trumpeter swans that lived in Yellowstone.


More Pages

Select a set of letters to see photos of an animal whose name starts with that letter and to read a little bit about the animal:
  • ABCDE: Amphibian, Bison, Coyote, Deer, Eagle
  • FGHIJ: Fox, Grizzly Bear, Hare, Insect, Jackrabbit
  • KLMNO: Kestrel, Loon, Moose, Nutcracker, Otter
  • PQRST: Pronghorn, Thermus aQuaticus, Raven, Sheep, Trumpeter Swan
  • UVWXYZ: Uinta Ground Squirrel, Vole, Wolf, LynX, Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, Zygogonium

More Information

Last updated: May 17, 2016

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PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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