Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Science

First Committee Member

Charles L. Douglas

Number of Pages



A total of 249 samples of horn material from bighorn sheep was collected from nine locations. The concentrations of eight elements were determined in all samples by inductively coupled argon plasma spectroscopy. Year of horn growth was determined for 154 of the samples. All elements of concentrations varied significantly with respect to location. Some elements varied similarly to other elements with respect to location, but most locations exhibited unique element concentration profiles. Six of eight elements exhibited significant variation with respect to year of horn growth. A general pattern of annual element concentration fluctuation appeared to emerge. Generally, for a given year, if one element occurred in relatively higher or lower concentrations with respect to the previous year, the other study elements were found to occur in relatively higher or lower concentrations, respectively, as well. Neither plant element concentrations nor precipitation were found to be significantly related to horn element concentrations. Correlation analysis of bighorn sheep hair element concentration and horn element concentration revealed no significant relationships.


Analysis; Bighorn; Element; Horns; Sheep; Trace

Controlled Subject

Zoology; Biology; Ecology

File Format


File Size

2293.76 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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