What kind of animal is a sheep? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, and habitat


What kind of animal is a sheep? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. Sheep are animals that everyone knows, and because they can be used for so many different purposes, they are valued by humans. What kind of culture and history does sheep have? I would like to introduce this as well.

What is a sheep? About basic status

Sheep are cetacean artiodactyls of the bovidae subfamily Capriinae. It is a well-known animal that has horns and is domesticated primarily for its wool. The scientific name is Ovis aries, and it is written and written as sheep or cotton sheep in kanji. The body length is 120 – 180 cm and the weight is 45-90 kg.

scientific name(学名)Ovis aries
classification(分類)Mammalia、Ruminantia、 Bovidae、Ovis
Length(体長)120 – 180cm
Weight(体重)45– 90kg

What is the history of sheep?

In fact, evidence has been found that humans were already breeding sheep as livestock during the Neolithic period. It is said that they probably became domesticated around 7000-6000 BC, when the Mesopotamian civilization developed. The ancestors of sheep are probably Mongolian, Indian, and Mediterranean.

Why did sheep become livestock?

The main reason why sheep became human livestock is because of their fat and wool. Since goats are superior in terms of meat, milk, and skin, there was no point in choosing sheep. However, nomads were unable to obtain enough fat, an important nutrient, from goats, so they turned to sheep. Pigs, which are the main source of fat intake, were not suitable as livestock for religious reasons.

There is also a huge demand for mutton

Mutton was also found to be in great demand. A large amount of meat is consumed in Australia and New Zealand, where it is widely eaten and is widely bred, as well as in the United Kingdom, Greece, and Ireland.

Great demand for wool too

Wool is one of the reasons why sheep were domesticated. Wild sheep have a tendency to shed their top coat in the spring, and humans have been using this shed coat to make felt since BC. Due to this demand, domestication progressed. The wool that we are familiar with today is mainly the wool of domestic sheep that have been bred to develop this undercoat.

Sheep milk is also in demand.

The reality is that there is also demand for sheep milk. Sheep’s milk is mainly used for processing yogurt and cheese, which modern people consume. In particular, this milk is processed and used to make cheese.

There is also demand for sheepskin

Sheepskin is also in demand and is used for clothing as lambskin, sheepskin, and shearling.

What is the number of sheep kept?

Sheep are widely bred all over the world, and according to 2008 statistics, there were 1 billion sheep bred worldwide. China, Australia, India, New Zealand, Iran, and Nigeria breed them in large numbers.

What are the characteristics of sheep?

Their bodies are relatively small for a ruminant, and they are characterized by spiral-shaped horns on the sides of their heads and curly hair called wool. Their hearing has been greatly developed so that they can detect foreign enemies. Regarding eyesight, they have horizontally narrow pupils and excellent peripheral vision, which allows them to detect the approach of foreign enemies. The body length and weight of sheep vary widely depending on the breed.

What is the personality of sheep?

As you can see, sheep have a very gentle and gentle personality. They are wary, timid, and gregarious animals, so they rarely go alone. When a crisis approaches, I just run away.

What is the ecology of sheep?

Sheep tend to eat not only grass, but also bark, tree buds, and flowers. The gestation period is 147 days, and they are seasonal breeders that breed only during a limited period of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, mating takes place in the fall and lambs are born in the spring. Lifespan is about 10-12 years.

What are sheep’s natural enemies?

Sheep are protected and raised by humans. However, they do have natural enemies, such as wild dogs.


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