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quote:Originally posted by Hadrianhumans hunted wild sheep from the start of the Stone Age. At the end of the Stone Age, about 10,000 BC, in far Western Asia people began to tame and domesticated sheep for themselves.
quote:Domestic sheep are descended from the mouflon (Ovis orientalis) that is found from the mountains of Turkey to southern Iran. Evidence for domestication dates to 9000 BCE in Iraq. It has been found by DNA analysis to be one of two ancestors of domestic sheep. Although the second ancestor has not been identified, both the urial and argali have been ruled out. The urial (O. vignei) is found from northeastern Iran to northwestern India. It has a higher number of chromosomes (58) than domestic sheep (54) which makes it an unlikely ancestor of the latter, but it interbreeds with the mouflon. The argali sheep (O. ammon) of inner Asia (Tibet, Himalayas, Altay Mountains, Tien-Shan and Pamir) has 56 chromosomes and the Siberian snow sheep (Ovis nivicola) has 52 chromosomes.The European mouflon (O. musimon) found on Corsica and Sardinia as well as the Cretan and the extinct Cypriot wild sheep are probably descended from early domestic sheep that turned feral. Evidence of early domesticated sheep have been found in PPNB Jericho and Zawi Chemi Shanidar. The fleece-bearing sheep is only found since the Bronze Age. Primitive breeds, like the Scottish Soay sheep have to be plucked (a process called rooing), instead of sheared, as the kemps are still longer than the soft fleece, or the fleece must be collected from the field after it falls out.
quote: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. Members of the genus are highly gregarious.
quote:A bovid is any of almost 140 species of cloven-hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae. The family is widespread, being native to all continents except Australia and Antarctica, and diverse: members include buffalo, bison, antelopes, gazelles, and both wild and domesticated cattle, sheep, goats, and water buffalo. The family is known through fossil records from the early Miocene. The largest number of modern bovids are found in Africa, with substantial but less diverse populations in Asia and North America. It is thought that many of the bovid species, which evolved in Asia, were unable to survive the sudden advent of a new and unfamiliar predator when humans first emerged from Africa in the late Pleistocene, the African species, on the other hand, had many thousands of years, perhaps a few millions, in which to gradually adapt to the equally gradual development of human hunting skills. It is notable that many of the commonly domesticated bovid species—goats, sheep, water buffalo, the Yak—are of Asian origin: it is believed that the Asian bovids had less fear of humans and were more docile.The small number of modern American bovids are relatively recent arrivals over the Bering Land Bridge. All of the large grazing animals native to North America died out immediately after the arrival of the Clovis people about 12,000 years ago. This left a number of ecological niches vacant, and the ancestors of the modern American Bison, Mountain Goat and American Bighorn Sheep moved in to occupy them.
quote:Originally posted by ukmickyCheers george So basically sheep as a species are man made,i wonder what other man made species their are.Michael
quote:all non-extinct species of mammals with a cloven hoof have been domesticated in some form
quote:Originally posted by neilep...even Humans are man made !