Domestic goats, C. aegagrus which is from Central Asia. Since the domestication of this species, goats have been spread all over the world by humans. requires grass for grazing, but can survive on very thin deposits of grass. Therefore, the only areas cannot inhabit are tundras, deserts, and aquatic habitats. There are some feral groups on Hawaii and on other islands. ("Capra hircus", 1983; "Goat", 2004), most likely descended from
Domestic goats typically live to be 15 years old in captivity. An individual has lived to be 22 years old. Humans control the lifespan of domestic goats generally, however predation still occurs under human control. In the wild, predation and parasites are the major factors affecting longevity. ("Capra hircus", 1983)
Domestic goats are social animals and prefer to be in the presence of other goats. The size of captive herds is controlled by humans. Herd sizes in the wild tend to be 5 to 20 members, but can be as high as 100. The herds can contain only males, only females and young, or a mix of both. Goats are diurnal, and spend most of the day grazing. Because they live under human control, most goats can be described as sedentary. There is a rank structure in the herds. The males butt heads for hierarchy status. ("Capra hircus", 1983; "Did you know?", 2004)
There is no known home range size for these animals. Because their living arrangements are most often controlled by humans, it is difficult to estimate how much space they would occupy without human control.
Domestic goats are ruminants and eat grasses and shrubs. Goats can choose what grasses they will eat and generally avoid grass covered in feces. In captivity they eat roughage all year round. When the season is warm they can graze, but during the winter they are fed by humans. Farmers feed males and females different quantities and different types of foods on farms. ("Did you know?", 2004; "Farm Animals", 1981; "Goat", 2004; "Did you know?", 2004; "Farm Animals", 1981; "Goat", 2004; "Did you know?", 2004; "Farm Animals", 1981; "Goat", 2004; "Did you know?", 2004; "Farm Animals", 1981; "Goat", 2004)is a ruminant and eats grasses and shrubs. Goats can choose what grasses they will eat and generally avoid grass covered in feces. In captivity they eat roughage all year round. When the season is warm they can graze, but during the winter they are fed by humans. Farmers feed males and females different quantities and different types of foods on farms. is a ruminant and eats grasses and shrubs. Goats can choose what grasses they will eat and generally avoid grass covered in feces. In captivity they eat roughage all year round. When the season is warm they can graze, but during the winter they are fed by humans. Farmers feed males and females different quantities and different types of foods on farms. is a ruminant and eats grasses and shrubs. Goats can choose what grasses they will eat and generally avoid grass covered in feces. In captivity they eat roughage all year round. When the season is warm they can graze, but during the winter they are fed by humans. Farmers feed males and females different quantities and different types of foods on farms.
The main predators of domestic goats are coyotes, dogs, mountain lions, foxes, eagles, and bobcats. Humans provide the most protection by keeping them in fences; however even that is not impenetrable. The main defense from predation which domestic goats have is living in herds. They can also be aggressive and will use their horns in defense. ("Capra hircus", 1983; Haenlein, 1992; Vaughan, et al., 2000)
Because goats are a domestic species and non-native throughout most of their current range, their grazing can be detrimental to natural ecosystems. Goat overgrazing can cause erosion, spread of deserts, and the disappearance of natural wildlife. This was documented in New Zealand and scientists believe grazing by goats is preventing revegetation. A feral population of Capra. However, in some managed grasslands, goats have been used to prevent the spread of introduced weeds. ("Capra hircus", 1983; American Sheep Industry Association, 2007; Vaughan, et al., 2000)led to the extinction of many forest bird species in Hawaii and feral goat populations may most severely impact their wild cousins, other members of the genus
is quite abundant and under no special conservation status.
Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Adam Mileski (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor, instructor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
Found in coastal areas between 30 and 40 degrees latitude, in areas with a Mediterranean climate. Vegetation is dominated by stands of dense, spiny shrubs with tough (hard or waxy) evergreen leaves. May be maintained by periodic fire. In South America it includes the scrub ecotone between forest and paramo.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having a worldwide distribution. Found on all continents (except maybe Antarctica) and in all biogeographic provinces; or in all the major oceans (Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
ranking system or pecking order among members of a long-term social group, where dominance status affects access to resources or mates
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
ovulation is stimulated by the act of copulation (does not occur spontaneously)
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
islands that are not part of continental shelf areas, they are not, and have never been, connected to a continental land mass, most typically these are volcanic islands.
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
having more than one female as a mate at one time
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
one of the sexes (usually males) has special physical structures used in courting the other sex or fighting the same sex. For example: antlers, elongated tails, special spurs.
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Coniferous or boreal forest, located in a band across northern North America, Europe, and Asia. This terrestrial biome also occurs at high elevations. Long, cold winters and short, wet summers. Few species of trees are present; these are primarily conifers that grow in dense stands with little undergrowth. Some deciduous trees also may be present.
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
1983. Capra hircus. Pp. 1298-1301 in R Nowak, J Paradiso, eds. Walker's Mammals of the World, Vol. 2. United States of America: John Hopkins University Press.
2004. "Did you know?" (On-line). American Dairy Goat Association. Accessed February 03, 2004 at http://adga.org/facts.htm.
1981. Farm Animals. Pp. 176-179 in D McFarland, ed. The Oxford Companion to Abnormal Behavior.. Great Brittain: Oxford University Press.
2004. "Goat" (On-line). Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed July 29, 2004 at http://search.eb.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/eb/article?eu=37869.
1984. Goats and Sheep. Pp. 85-88 in I Mason, ed. Evolution of Domestic animals. New York: Longman Group.
National 4-H Council. 2000. "National 4H council" (On-line). Accessed February 10, 2004 at http://www.fourhcouncil.edu/.
USDA. Sheep and Goats predator loss. Washington, DC: National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2000. Accessed February 09, 2004 at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/livestock/pgg-bbsg/predan00.txt.
American Sheep Industry Association, 2007. "Targeted grazing, a natural approach to landscape enhancement" (On-line). Accessed October 06, 2008 at http://sheepindustrynews.com/Targeted-Grazing/.
Haenlein, G. 1992. "All About Goats" (On-line). National Dairy Database. Accessed February 03, 2004 at http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/Topic/AgrEnv/ndd/goat/ALL_ABOUT_GOATS.html.
Vaughan, T., J. Ryan, C. Nicholas. 2000. Mammology. United States: Thomson Learning Inc..