The New International Encyclopædia/Wild Goats, Sheep, and Ibexes

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WILD GOATS, SHEEP, and IBEXES. A group of small ruminants not easily divisible technically even into the two apparently easily distinguishable genera Ovis (sheep) and Capra (goats and ibexes); and characterized by the massive, angulated horns borne by the male (rams), which in the sheep tend to form a coil beside the head, and in the goats sweep backward from the forehead and show a strongly cross-ridged front. The wild sheep and goats are mountain-dwelling animals, and are limited, with one exception, to the central elevated regions of the Old World, stretching from the Pyrenees, Atlas, and Abyssinian mountains through the Sinaitic Carpathian, Armenian, and Persian chains, to the Himalayan and Mongolian ranges, which are continued northeastward to Bering Strait. Each separate section of the line of uplift has one or more peculiar species. There is also an American species or group of species (see Bighorn) native to the northern cordillera, as far south as the borders of Mexico. The species are not many, most of them have a comparatively limited and local range, and several are extinct as wild animals. The genus Ovis has given to civilized man the domestic sheep, but their specific source (or sources) is uncertain. The domestic goat seems to have been derived with little admixture from the wild goat still extant in Southwestern Asia. See Goat; Ibex; Sheep.


NIE 1905 Wild Goats Sheep and Ibexes.jpg
1. WILD GOAT; PASANG (Capra ægagrus).     5. AOUDAD (Ovis tragelaphus).
2. ANGORA RAM. 6. WESTERN CAUCASUS TUR (Capra Severtzowi).
3. MARKHOR (Capra Falconeri); Kabul variety. 7. OORIAL or SHA (Ovis Vignei).
4. BHARAL (Ovis nahura). 8. ALPINE IBEX (Capra ibex).