Adapted to their perilous environment, Alpine ibex have evolved a specialized split hoof, whose cleft is wider than on any other split-hooved species, according to Smithsonian Magazine. The hoof also has a hard wall that can grab on to steep cliffs and a soft, rubbery inside that serves as a “stopper” when the animal is pushed forward by gravity, the magazine reported.
And because dams are usually built in steep canyons, Cingino’s steep rock face is likely nothing novel for the mountain-dwelling ibex, according to Opperman. (See dam pictures.)
Sometimes reaching heights of 16,000 feet (5,000 meters), the herbivores spend their lives scrambling the European Alps’ rocky and steep terrain, according to Caters news agency.