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Description of Sheep

Sheep are estimated to have evolved over two million years ago. They were the first agricultural animal to be domesticated, about twelve thousand years ago, just after the end of the last Ice Age. It is estimated that sheep domestication occurred in the Middle East, with the nomadic tribesmen that lived near the current Iran and Iraq. The sheep herding practice spread west to the Mediterranean Sea area to Africa and Spain. By 4000 b.c.e., sheep could be found in northern Europe, India, and China. The domesticated sheep evolved from either the European mouflon or the Asiatic mouflon, which can still be found in the wild. These sheep were very large in comparison to current sheep, and weighed about the same as some breeds of cattle. They had huge curved horns, and had thick woolen coats covered with long guard hairs that helped repel water and snow. Modern sheep resemble the sheep of old, but only weigh about one third as much. The shepherds strove to improve their flocks, and culled out the sheep that did not improve the breeding. In general, sheep are classified as either carcass animals, developed for meat consumption, or fiber animals, which were used primarily for wool clothing. If a sheep is used for food consumption and is under one year of age, its meat is called lamb, but if it is a year old or older it is referred to as mutton.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Sheep