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Encyclopedia > Sheep
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Sheep
Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn Sheep
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Ovis
Linnaeus, 1758
Species
See text.

A sheep is an individual of any of the eight woolly mammal species that comprise the genus Ovis, part of the goat antelope subfamily. All the sheep are bovids (members of the family Bovidae) and ruminants, meaning they chew cud. The domestic sheep is thought to be descended from the wild moufflon of central and southwest Asia. Male sheep are called rams— or wethers if castrated—females ewes, and young lambs. Members of the genus are highly gregarious. Download high resolution version (1024x768, 1676 KB)Subject: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Camera: Canon D60 Lens: Canon 100--400mm IS File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anenomes) Placozoa (trichoplax) Subregnum Bilateria (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Orthonectida (parasitic to flatworms, echinoderms, etc. ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicatas Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders Subclass Multituberculata (extinct) Plagiaulacida Cimolodonta Subclass Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Subclass Triconodonta (extinct) Subclass Eutheria (includes extinct ancestors)/Placentalia (excludes extinct ancestors) Afrosoricida Artiodactyla Carnivora Cetacea Chiroptera Cimolesta (extinct) Creodonta (extinct) Condylarthra (extinct) Dermoptera Desmostylia (extinct) Embrithopoda (extinct) Hyracoidea Insectivora Lagomorpha Litopterna (extinct) Macroscelidea Mesonychia (extinct) Notoungulata (extinct) Perissodactyla Pholidota Plesiadapiformes... Families Suidae Hippopotamidae Tayassuidae Camelidae Tragulidae Moschidae Cervidae Giraffidae Antilocapridae Bovidae The even-toed ungulates form the mammal order Artiodactyla. ... Subfamilies Bovinae Cephalophinae Hippotraginae Antilopinae Caprinae A bovid is any of almost 140 species of cloven-hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae. ... Genera Capricornis Nemorhaedus Rupicapra Oreamnos Budorcas Ovibos Hemitragus Ammotragus Pseudois Capra Ovis Pantholops A goat antelope is any of the species of mostly medium-sized herbivores that make up the subfamily Caprinae or the single species in subfamily Panthalopinae. ... Carolus Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as â–¶ (help· info), and in English usually under the Latinized name Carolus Linnaeus (May 23, 1707 – January 10, 1778), the name with which his publications were signed, was a Swedish botanist and physician who laid the foundations for the modern scheme... Wool in a shearing shed Long and short hair wool at the South Central Family Farm Research Center in Boonesville, AR Wool sheep, Royal Melbourne Show Wool is the fibre derived from the hair of animals of the Caprinae family, principally sheep and goats, but the hair of other mammals... Orders Subclass Multituberculata (extinct) Plagiaulacida Cimolodonta Subclass Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Subclass Triconodonta (extinct) Subclass Eutheria (includes extinct ancestors)/Placentalia (excludes extinct ancestors) Afrosoricida Artiodactyla Carnivora Cetacea Chiroptera Cimolesta (extinct) Creodonta (extinct) Condylarthra (extinct) Dermoptera Desmostylia (extinct) Embrithopoda (extinct) Hyracoidea Insectivora Lagomorpha Litopterna (extinct) Macroscelidea Mesonychia (extinct) Notoungulata (extinct) Perissodactyla Pholidota Plesiadapiformes... In biology, a species is the basic unit of biodiversity. ... In biology, a genus (plural genera) is a grouping in the classification of living organisms having one or more related and morphologically similar species. ... Genera Capricornis Nemorhaedus Rupicapra Oreamnos Budorcas Ovibos Hemitragus Ammotragus Pseudois Capra Ovis Pantholops A goat antelope is any of the species of mostly medium-sized herbivores that make up the subfamily Caprinae or the single species in subfamily Panthalopinae. ... ... Subfamilies Bovinae Cephalophinae Hippotraginae Antilopinae Caprinae A bovid is any of almost 140 species of cloven-hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... Subfamilies Bovinae Cephalophinae Hippotraginae Antilopinae Caprinae A bovid is any of almost 140 species of cloven-hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae. ... Families Antilocapridae Bovidae Cervidae Giraffidae Moschidae Tragulidae A ruminant is any hooved animal that digests its food in two steps, first by eating the raw material and regurgitating a semi-digested form known as cud, then eating the cud, a process called ruminating. ... Binomial name Ovis aries Linnaeus, 1758 The Domestic Sheep (Ovis aries) is the most common species of the sheep genus. ... Moufflon are a type wild sheep (Ovis orientalis and O. musimon) native to the mountains of Sardinia, Corsica and western Asia (especially Turkey and southern Iran). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Southwest Asia (PDF) Southwest Asia (often confused with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. ... Lamb A lamb being bottle fed A lamb is a young sheep less than a year old. ...


Sheep are usually stockier than other bovines, and some have horns which are more divergent than those of goats. Sheep have scent glands on the face and hind feet. Communication through the scent glands is not well understood but is thought to be important for sexual signaling. Males can smell females which are fertile and ready to mate, and rams mark their territories by rubbing scent on to rocks. They have a four-chambered stomach which plays a vital role in digesting, regurgitating, and redigesting food. Domestic sheep are important for their wool, milk, and meat (which is called mutton or lamb). This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The stomach (Gaster) In anatomy, the stomach (in ancient Greek στόμαχος) is an organ in the gastrointestinal tract used to digest food. ... Digestion is the process whereby a biological entity processes a substance, in order to chemically convert the substance into nutrients. ... Regurgitation is the passive flow of stomach contents back into the esophagus and mouth. ... Wool in a shearing shed Long and short hair wool at the South Central Family Farm Research Center in Boonesville, AR Wool sheep, Royal Melbourne Show Wool is the fibre derived from the hair of animals of the Caprinae family, principally sheep and goats, but the hair of other mammals... A glass of cows milk Milk most often means the nutrient fluid produced by the mammary glands of female mammals. ... Meat is animal tissue used as food. ... See also lamb (disambiguation) An unweaned lamb The terms lamb, hoggett or mutton are used to describe the meat of a domestic sheep. ... See also lamb (disambiguation) An unweaned lamb The terms lamb, hoggett or mutton are used to describe the meat of a domestic sheep. ...


Sheep species

There are at least eight species of sheep:

O. ammon Mountain sheep (Argali)
O. aries Domestic sheep
O. canadensis Bighorn sheep
O. dalli Dall Sheep
O. musimon Mouflon (disputed scientific classification)
O. nivicola Snow sheep
O. orientalis
O. vignei Urial

Argali, or the mountain sheep (species Ovis ammon) is the globally endangered wild sheep, which roams the highlands of Central Asia (Himalaya, Tibet, Altay). ... Argali, or the mountain sheep (species Ovis ammon) is the globally endangered wild sheep, which roams the highlands of Central Asia (Himalaya, Tibet, Altay). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1250x1095, 735 KB) Sheep Skudde This image shows a Sheep (Ovis orientalis aries) of the race Skudde. Photographer André Karwath aka Aka Date 2005-10-08 Camera data Camera Nikon D70 Lens Nikon 18-70 AF-S DX / 3. ... Binomial name Ovis aries Linnaeus, 1758 The Domestic Sheep (Ovis aries) is the most common species of the sheep genus. ... Image File history File links Ovis_canadensis_2. ... Binomial name Ovis canadensis Shaw, 1804 Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) is a species of sheep in North America with two endangered subspecies: Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) California Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis californiana). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 363 KB)This photograph was taken by David McMaster on April 27, 2005 at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation... Binomial name Ovis dalli Nelson, 1884 The Dall Sheep (originally Dalls Sheep, sometimes called Thinhorn Sheep), Ovis dalli, is a wild sheep of the mountainous regions of northwest North America, ranging from white to slate brown and having curved yellowish brown horns. ... Taken by User:Leland on 15 May 2004. ... Binomial name Ovis musimon Pallas, 1762 The Mouflon (Ovis musimon), one of the Caprinae or goat antelopes, is thought to be one of the two ancestors for all modern sheep breeds. ... Binomial name Ovis vignei Blyth, 1841 The Urial is a medium-sized wild sheep, member of the goat antelope subfamily, also known as Shapo or Arkhar. ...

Hybrids with goats

Although sheep and goats seem similar and can be mated together they belong to different genera. Goats are caprinae and have 60 chromosomes while sheep are ovinae and have 54 chromosomes. At Botswana Ministry of Agriculture, a ram that was kept with a nanny goat impregnated the goat resulting in a live offspring that had 57 chromosomes. This was called "The Toast of Batswana". The hybrid is intermediate between the two parent species in type. It has a coarse outer coat, a woolly inner coat, long goat-like legs and a heavy sheep-like body. Although infertile, the red-headed fellow named Lynch was castrated to prevent unwanted sexual behaviour because it continually mounted the sheep and Adinaros sharing its enclosure.


In 1969, Australian farmer Dick Lanyon, who farmed near Melbourne, Australia, kept a billy-goat among his sheep to scare off foxes during the lambing season. In September of the same year, he claimed to have dozens of ‘lambs’ which were sheep-goat hybrids. The goat was locked up while scientists examined the supposed hybrids. As no more was heard of this case, it is believed that the lambs were pure-bred sheep. Melbourne is the state capital and largest city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-largest city in Australia (after Sydney), with a population of approximately 3. ...


There is a long-standing belief in sheep/goat hybrids which is due to the animals' resemblance to each other. Some primitive varieties of sheep may be misidentified as goats. In "Darwinism An Exposition Of The Theory Of Natural Selection With Some Of Its Applications" (1889), Alfred Russel Wallace wrote:

[...] the following statement of Mr. Low: "It has been long known to shepherds, though questioned by naturalists, that the progeny of the cross between the sheep and goat is fertile. Breeds of this mixed race are numerous in the north of Europe." Nothing appears to be known of such hybrids either in Scandinavia or in Italy; but Professor Giglioli of Florence has kindly given me some useful references to works in which they are described. The following extract from his letter is very interesting: "I need not tell you that there being such hybrids is now generally accepted as a fact. Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (Supplements, tom. iii. p. 7, 1756) obtained one such hybrid in 1751 and eight in 1752. Sanson (La Culture, vol. vi. p. 372, 1865) mentions a case observed in the Vosges, France. Geoff. St. Hilaire (Hist. Nat. Gén. des reg. org., vol. iii. p. 163) was the first to mention, I believe, that in different parts of South America the ram is more usually crossed with the she-goat than the sheep with the he-goat. The well-known 'pellones' of Chile are produced by the second a third generation of such hybrids (Gay, 'Hist, de Chile,' vol. i. p. 466, Agriculture, 1862). Hybrids bred from goat and sheep are called 'chabin' in French, and 'cabruno' in Spanish. In Chile such hybrids are called 'carneros lanudos'; their breeding inter se appears to be not always successful, and often the original cross has to be recommenced to obtain the proportion of three-eighths of he-goat and five-eighths of sheep, or of three-eighths of ram and five-eighths of she-goat; such being the reputed best hybrids."

Supposedly, most goat-sheep hybrids die as embryos (the famous geep is a chimera, not a hybrid). Hybrid male mammals are often sterile due to a phenomenon called Haldane's Rule. The Haldane phenomena may apply even when the parent species have the same number of chromosomes as in most cat species hybrids. It sometimes does not apply when the species chromosome number is different as in wild horse (chromosome number = 66) and domestic horse (chromosome number = 64) hybrids. Hybrid female fertility tends to decrease with increasing divergence in chromosome similarity between parent species. Presumably, this is due to mismatch problems during meiosis and the resulting production of eggs with unbalanced genetic complements. Portrait de François-Hubert Drouais (1727-1775). ... A geep is a chimera produced by combining the embryos of a goat and a sheep; the resulting animal has cells of both sheep and goat origin. ... In zoology, a chimera is an animal which has two or more different populations of cells, which are genetically distinct and which originated in different zygotes (fertilized eggs). ... In biology, hybrid has three meanings. ... Haldanes rule in evolutionary theory and speciation is: It was originally formulated by J. B. S. Haldane; since it appears to be usually but not universally true, it is described as a rule rather than a law. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sheep - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (794 words)
The domestic sheep is thought to be descended from the wild moufflon of south-central and south-west Asia.
A male sheep is a ram, a female a ewe, and a young sheep a lamb.
Sheep are usually stockier than their goat relatives, and some have horns which are more more divergent than those of goats.
Sheep - Simple English Wikipedia (445 words)
The sheep that is furthest away from the others is called the outlier, a term also used in statistics.
This sheep is willing to go out further away from the safety of the flock to graze, but takes a chance that a predator like a wolf will attack it first, because it is alone.
Another sheep, the bellwether, which never goes first but always follows an outlier, is the one that signals to the others that it is safe to go that way.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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