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Wild goat

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Wild goat
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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Capra aegagrus

Subspecies
  • Capra aegagrus aegagrus
  • Capra aegagrus blythi
  • Capra aegagrus chialtanensis
  • Capra aegagrus cretica
  • Capra aegagrus hircus
  • Capra aegagrus turcmenica
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Llandudno, North Wales

The wild goat is a species of goat that has the scientific name Capra aegagrus. They are wide ranging herbivores that live from Europe and Asia Minor to central Asia and the Middle East. Domestic goats can be used by man for their meat, wool, skin, and milk, and have been legalized as household pets in some areas.[1]

Contents

Anatomy

Wild Goat near Llanberis, Gwynedd in north Wales.

The Wild Goat has two long horns on its head that are dark and curving back towards its back. These horns are made out of their own living bone covered in keratin and proteins. They can use these horns for defense and to let others know its dominance.

Under their mouths, both male and female wild goats have beards. Wild goats have short tails that point up.

On their eyes are pupils that have horizontal slits to benefit their peripheral depth perception. The color of the eyes are a lot lighter than other animals with dark colored eyes. The color of these goats' eyes are a pale shade. [2]

On female goats are udders where its milk is taken out to feed their young.

In wild goats' mouths, there are no upper incisor teeth or canine teeth like many other animals. They have only lower incisors, a dental pad in front of a hard palate, lips, and a tounge. They use these body parts to chew their food.

Wild goats have a four-chambered stomach. The names of these four stomachs are Rumen, the largest of the four, Reticulum, also known as the "hardware stomach" or "honeycomb," Omasum, also known as the "manyplies," and Abomasum, which is most like the true stomach of these animals, which funtions like a human stomach.[3]

Reproduction

Wild goats reproduce sexually. They can reproduce any time of the year, but mating usually occurs from the months of October to December. Gestation (length of time from conception to birth in animals) can last about one hundred fifty days. Wild goats usually give birth to one kid (the name for baby goats) at a time. On some rare occasions twin kids can be born. The weaning period (the process of introducing an young animal, gradually, to what its adult diet will consist of and taking away the supply of its mother's milk) will usually begin in these goats about seven or eight months into their lives. Usually they will reach their complete sexual maturity at age three. [4]

Sometimes, once the nannie (name for goat mother) gives birth, she will eat the placenta (an ephemeral organ used during gestation). After giving birth to a kid, or in rare cases up to six, the new born kid will conceal itself in a small place and lay immobile for hours at a time while its dam feeds. Once this process is done, the mother will go out to find her kids and call to them. They will hear this noise and their instincts will tell them to come out for their mother.

A process known as freshening, coming into milk production, takes place at birth. The amount of milk that will be produced depends on the wild goat's breed, quality, age, and diet. Every three hundred five day lactation period, the average wild goat will produce anywhere between one thousand five hundred pounds to four thousand pounds of milk. During the day, a mother can carry up to sixteen pounds of milk, depending on the amount of kids. Breastfeeding occurs with these young goats from their mothers.[5]

Ecology

A wild goat navigating the rocks in central southern Crete, Greece.

Wild goats live in different areas, but are generally found in mountains. These animals navigate themselves all over the rock mountain side with ease because of their hooves for feet. These hooves have hollow bottom sides that can grip onto sharp edges for traction.

During the night, wild goats make their way to the top of their mountain to feed. During the day, they explore the mountain, eating grass wherever they please. Although these animals' main diet food is grass, they are usually willing to eat almost anything they like. Their digestive systems will let almost all organic substance to be digested and used for nutrients for their bodies.

Goats usually travel in groups of about nine. During the hot parts of the day, they lay on the rocks together and enjoy the sun. Usually a couple hours before dusk, these goats start making their way back to the woods. When they are heading downhill, it can take them longer than traveling towards the top of their mountain. Like bears and other animals, since their front two legs are shorter than their back legs, it is more akward to walk downhill than it would be to climb upwards.[6]

Wool

A group of Wild Goats at the Exmoor National Park on the Bristol Channel coast of south west England.

Wild goats live in areas that are mountainous, therefore the temperature would be much cooler than areas closer to sea level. To survive the cold temperatures in this climate, these goats are equipped with a body full of wool that keeps them warm. [7]

Wool is made through goats' special skin cells through their follicles. It can sometimes be mistaken for hair or fur, but hair and fur have different texture and are much lighter. Wool is also more flame resistant. Another capability of it is its abilty to pull moisture away from skin, a useful ability for staying warm and not getting sick.

Wool can be used commercially for business. Goats can be shaved and their wool can be used to make clothing items, rugs, blankets, etc. This material, that can be put to use in the clothing industry, can stretch up to fifty percent of its size. Once a goat is shaved, their wool is washed to remove harmful impurities like lanolin, a greasy yellow substance that can clot the wool material.[8][9]

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