A medium-sized animal with a short, slab-sided body, humped shoulders and a long, narrow head. The shaggy coat is white or yellowish-white (vanilla) in color, with long underwool, and longer guard hairs that form a stiff mane on the neck and rump, and pantaloons on the thighs. Both sexes have a beard. The legs are long and heavy, and the large hoofs have rubbery pads in the center for sure footing on rock. Black scent glands are located behind the horns in both sexes. Both males and females grow short, sharp, black horns. The horns of the female are slimmer, straighter, and less divergent at the tips than those of the male, and can be longer as well.
Also called Rocky Mountain goat, a poor name because the bulk of its population is found west of the Rocky Mountains. The name “mountain goat” is also misleading because, biologically, it is not a true goat; it is a member of the Rupicaprini tribe-the goat-antelopes-whose members are more primitive than true goats. They include the chamois of Europe and the Middle East, and the serows and gorals of Asia.