Technically, there are many species which can be termed as “sheep” under the genus Ovis, however, under everyday usage, the term “sheep” almost always refers to the species Ovis aries.
Sheeps are ruminants that belong to the family Bovidae and subfamily Caprinae, which means sheeps are related to goats. However, sheeps are generally more stockier than goats. When compared to other members of the family Bovidae, sheeps are medium-sized animals.
Most species also have horns that form lateral spires. Sheeps also have their characteristic wool, which is essentially fur that grows crinkled. Young sheeps are called lambs, adult males are called rams and adult females are called ewes. An average adult sheep can weigh between 35 to 180 kgs depending on the breed.
An interesting point to note is that sheeps have the tendency to eat plants closer to the roots. Hence, they might overgraze an area if proper care is not taken.
As stated before, sheeps are ruminants, which means it eats food and regurgitates the same, then chews on it again (cud), thereby facilitating efficient digestion. Sheeps are primarily raised for their wool, meat and milk. Hence, they are also one of the most domesticated animals – with over a billion individuals around the world and 65 million in India alone (2012 consensus)
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Frequently Asked Questions on Scientific Name of sheep
What is the scientific name of sheep?
The scientific name name of sheep is Ovis aries