Capra (genus)

:"This article is about the Capra genus of animals and the Goat species. For other uses, see Capra, or Goat (disambiguation)."Taxobox
name = "Capra"

image_width = 250px
image_caption = Female ibex
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Artiodactyla
familia = Bovidae
subfamilia = Caprinae
genus = "Capra"
genus_authority = Linnaeus, 1758
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See Species and subspecies
The genus "Capra", usually called goats or wild goats, is a genus of mammals composed of up to nine species, including the ibexes, the markhor, and the wild goat.

The animal commonly known as the domestic goat ("Capra aegagrus hircus") is a domesticated subspecies of the wild goat. All members of the "Capra" genus are bovids (members of the family Bovidae) and caprins (subfamily Caprinae). They are also ruminants, meaning they chew cud. These animals have a four-chambered stomach which plays a vital role in digesting, regurgitating and re-digesting their food. The Rocky Mountain Goat, despite its name, is not considered a true goat by scientists as it belongs to the genus "Oreamnos".

pecies and subspecies

All species of the genus were included in just a single species formerly. Some would have recognized two species, the Markhor on one side and all other forms included in one species on the other side. Today usually seven to nine species are acceptedMSW3 Grubb|id=14200767] :

* Spanish ibex ("Capra pyrenaicais")
* Alpine ibex ("Capra ibex")
* Nubian ibex ("Capra nubiana")
* Siberian ibex ("Capra sibirica")
* Walia ibex ("Capra walie")
* West Caucasian tur ("Capra caucasica")
* East Caucasian tur ("Capra cylindricornis")
* Wild goat ("Capra aegagrus")
* Markhor ("Capra falconeri")

The goats of the genus "Capra" have a complicated intern systematic, which is still not completely resolved. Recent studies based on mitochondrial DNA confirm that the Siberian ibex and the Nubian ibex represent distinct species, which are not very closely related to the similar Alpine ibex. The Alpine ibex however, is genetically not so far from the Spanish ibex and a need for grouping both together seems to be evident. West Caucasian tur seems to be closely related with the wild goat rather than with the East Caucasian tur. The genetic distance separating the markhor, which was thought to be a separate branch of the genus, from other forms is small. ["Phylogenetic Reconstructions in the Genus Capra (Bovidae, Artiodactyla) Based on the Mitochondrial DNA Analysis". Russian Journal of Genetics, 2007, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 181–189. [ online] ] .

Almost all wild goat species are allopatric, only the range of the wild goat ("Capra aegagrus") overlaps with that of the East Caucasian tur ("Capra cylindricornis") and the range of the markhor ("Capra falconeri") overlaps with the Siberian ibex ("Capra siberica"). In both cases they form usually no hydrids or intermediate forms. In captivity however all "Capra" species can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. [V. G. Heptner: "Mammals of the Sowjetunion Vol. I UNGULATES". Leiden, New York, 1989 ISBN 9004088741]

pecies and subspecies of goats

Similarity to sheep

Though closely related to sheep, to the point of causing occasional taxonomic confusion, goat behaviour is quite different. Sheep are primarily roaming grazers which travel in herds (also known as flocks), while goats are browsers like deer, eating branches and twigs, and tend to be more territorial. Like sheep, though, they have horns that continue to grow throughout their lifetime instead of antlers that fall off once a year. Unlike sheep, both male and female goats grow horns, and both sexes can have beards. Goats are herd animals and survive better in a herd situation than alone. But they tend to be more aggressive with predators, and some sheep herders will run a few goats with the herd because after initially fleeing, the goats will stand up to a predator and possibly deter them, whereas sheep will continue to run. A herd typically has a Herd Queen, who leads the herd while browsing. They are also much more lively than sheep and their inquisitive nature makes them curious pets. Sheep and goats have the same horizontal slit pupil in their eyeballs. Sheep tails go down, which is why they are sometimes docked, whereas goat tails go up.

Domestication and uses

: "Main article: Domestic goat"Along with sheep, goats were among the first domesticated animals, the domestication process starting at least 10,000 years ago. Goats may have first been domesticated in what is now northern Iran. Easy human access to goat hair, meat, and milk were the primary motivations. Goat skins were popularly used until the Middle Ages for water and wine bottles when traveling and camping, and in certain regions as parchment for writing.

The meat and milk of goats is used for consumption, goat milk having become more popular in recent years because it is easier to digest than cow milk. Many call goat milk a universal milk, because it can be given to most mammals. It is used to make a variety of dairy products. The cheeses are known collectively as chevre; examples include Rocamadour and feta. Goat meat intended for consumption is also known as 'chevon'. Goat skin is used to make kid gloves and other items of clothing. Fibre is obtained from several breeds: Angora goats produce silk-like mohair, Kashmir goats produce cashmere wool, while Pygora goats produce a cashmere-type fiber. All are fine soft fibers that can be knitted into sweaters and other items. Some people keep goats as pets as well.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Capra — may refer to:* Capra (genus), comprising the goats * People: ** Frank Capra (1897–1991), American film director ** Iustin Capra (born 1933), Romanian engineer ** Frank Capra, Jr. (born 1934), American film studio manager film family member **… …   Wikipedia

  • Capra — Ca pra, n. [L., a she goat.] (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of ruminants, including the common goat. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Capra (Gattung) — Ziegen Alpensteinbock (Capra ibex) Systematik Überordnung: Laurasiatheria …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Capra aegagrus — Goat Goat (g[=o]t), n. [OE goot, got, gat, AS. g[=a]t; akin to D. geit, OHG. geiz, G. geiss, Icel. geit, Sw. get, Dan. ged, Goth. gaits, L. haedus a young goat, kid.] (Zo[ o]l.) A hollow horned ruminant of the genus {Capra}, of several species… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Capra hircus — Goat Goat (g[=o]t), n. [OE goot, got, gat, AS. g[=a]t; akin to D. geit, OHG. geiz, G. geiss, Icel. geit, Sw. get, Dan. ged, Goth. gaits, L. haedus a young goat, kid.] (Zo[ o]l.) A hollow horned ruminant of the genus {Capra}, of several species… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Capra sibirica — Sibirischer Steinbock Sibirischer Steinbock (Capra sibirica) Systematik Ordnung: Paarhufer (Artiodactyla) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Capra pyrenaica — Iberiensteinbock Iberiensteinbock (Capra pyrenaica) Systematik Klasse: Säugetiere (Mammalia) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Capra aegagrus cretica — Kretische Wildziege Kretische Wildziege (C. a. cretica) Systematik Unterordnung: Wiederkäuer (Ruminantia) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Capra caucasica — Westkaukasischer Steinbock Westkaukasische Steinböcke Systematik Ordnung: Paarhufer (Artiodactyla) Unte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Capra cylindricornis — Ostkaukasischer Steinbock Ostkaukasischer Steinbock mit Weibchen im Hintergrund Systematik Ordnung: Paarhufer (Artiodactyla) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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