What kind of animal is the Barbary Sheep? An explanation of its characteristics, ecology, and habitat


What kind of animal is the Barbary sheep, a sheep found in northern Africa? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. Its most distinctive feature is that it has no beard or subcutaneous gland, making it a very unusual animal that looks like both a sheep and a goat. This animal is designated as an endangered species and is in a critical situation.

What is a Burberry Sheep? Basic Stats

Barbary sheep are cloven-hoofed mammals classified in the Bovidae family of the Mammalia class. Their English names are Barbary Sheep or Aoudad. Their scientific name is Ammotragus lervia. They are 130-190cm long, weigh 50-140kg, and have a tail length of 15-25cm. The list of information is as follows:

English(英名)Barbary Sheep
scientific name(学名)Ammotragus lervia
classification(分類)Mammalia、Artiodactyla、 Bovidae、Ammotragus


Barbary sheep are found in the wild in northern Africa, including Morocco, Libya, Egypt and Sudan.

What are their characteristics? What kind of creature are they?

Barbary sheep are covered with short, stiff hair that continues to grow on their chest and forelegs. Their tails are flat, and their backs are reddish brown or gray-brown in color. Both males and females have horns that curve outward and downward from the rear. Their ears are small and slender. They prefer to live in desert areas below 950m above sea level. They spend the day in rock caves or rock shades to avoid the heat, and go out to feed in the early morning or evening.

What is their personality like?

Barbary sheep are highly social animals and live in groups consisting of one male and 3-6 females. However, during the breeding season, males fight with each other over females. Not only do they butt their horns together, but they also fight by entangling them, which can be quite a fierce battle.

What is their ecology?

Barbary sheep live on grass, leaves, fruit, etc. and reproduce viviparously. The gestation period is 150 days, and they can give birth to one baby at a time. They reach sexual maturity at 18 months of age, and have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years.

Do they have any natural enemies?

Natural enemies of Barbary sheep include caracals and leopards.

Are Barbary sheep an endangered species?

Barbary sheep are an endangered species. They are listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), so international trade is strictly restricted. Their population has drastically decreased in their native habitat due to their use for food and fur and skin. Furthermore, in Africa, their population has decreased further due to overhunting for sport hunting. They are said to have become extinct in Egypt in the 1970s.

Can Barbary sheep be kept as pets?

As mentioned above, Barbary sheep are designated as an endangered species and are listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), so international trade is strictly restricted. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to keep them as pets.


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