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The animal on the cover of Perl 6 Essentials is an aoudad (ammotragus lervia). Commonly known as Barbary sheep, aoudads originated in the arid mountainous regions of northern Africa and have stout, sturdy bodies, standing 75-100 centimeters at the shoulder and weighing from 30-145 kilograms. The aoudad has a bristly reddish-brown coat and is distinguished by a heavy, fringed mane covering its chest and legs. Both males and females have thick, triangular-shaped horns that curve back in a semicircle. A male aoudad’s horns can grow up to 85 centimeters.
Aoudads are herbivores and are most active at dawn and dusk, avoiding the desert heat of midday. They will drink water if it is available, but can obtain sufficient moisture from dew and vegetation. Aoudads are incredible jumpers, able to clear 6 feet from a standstill. So well suited are they to their surroundings that newborns have the ability to navigate rocky slopes within just hours after birth.
Despite being endangered in their native environment, aoudads are flourishing in the United States. Introduced to western Texas and southern New Mexico in the 1940s, aoudads are now so populous that it is feared that their presence may threaten the native desert bighorn sheep. Aoudads are ...