Difference Between Sheep And Goat Pdf

difference between sheep and goat pdf

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Out with the Year of the Horse and in with the new animal for the Chinese lunar year: the goat. Or is it the sheep? Here we take a look at both. February 19 marks the new lunar year according to the Chinese calendar, and man oh man has the mascot been stirring up debate of for us westerners. Some people are even throwing rams into the mix.

The Difference Between Sheep and Goats

Distinguishing between the bones of sheep and goat is a notorious challenge in zooarchaeology. Several methodological contributions have been published at different times and by various people to facilitate this task, largely relying on a macro-morphological approach. This is now routinely adopted by zooarchaeologists but, although it certainly has its value, has also been shown to have limitations.

There is therefore a need to establish a more objective system, susceptible to scrutiny. In order to fulfil such a requirement, this paper offers a comprehensive morphometric method for the identification of sheep and goat postcranial bones, using a sample of more than modern skeletons as a basis, and building on previous pioneering work.

The proposed method is based on measurements—some newly created, others previously published—and its use is recommended in combination with the more traditional morphological approach.

Measurement ratios, used to translate morphological traits into biometrical attributes, are demonstrated to have substantial diagnostic potential, with the vast majority of specimens correctly assigned to species.

The efficacy of the new method is also tested with Discriminant Analysis, which provides a successful verification of the biometrical indices, a statistical means to select the most promising measurements, and an additional line of analysis to be used in conjunction with the others. Despite being closely related, sheep Ovis aries and goat Capra hircus differ in many aspects, ranging from their behaviour to the products that they can provide us with.

The distinction between sheep and goat bones in archaeology is important in order to clarify core aspects of human-animal relationships and the uses to which these animals were put in the past and in different parts of the world. In addition, some disagreement exists among zooarchaeologists regarding which are the morphological criteria that are most useful for the distinction of these two species e. Some focused on providing new diagnostic morphological traits, as well as checking their reliability on a variety of modern and archaeological samples [ 1 ]; [ 8 ]; [ 9 ]; [ 4 ].

Others, aware of the limitations of a purely morphological approach, introduced a biometrical perspective to the problem e. This paper expands substantially the approach proposed by these latter authors by using a great variety of skeletal parts and a substantial modern sample to monitor the effectiveness of different morphometric criteria. The morphometric approach not only has the advantage of providing another identification tool to be used alongside the more established morphological criteria, but, most importantly, constitutes a more objective method, as identifications can be subjected to scrutiny.

To carry out a morphometric evaluation of the distinction between post-cranial bones of sheep and goat based on a sample of modern skeletons mainly deriving from central and northern Europe an area largely untapped by previous studies.

We visited different institutions in order to collect data from a large sample of modern sheep and goat skeletons. This collection has provided a large number of specimens of different age and sex—mainly unimproved Shetland and Soay breeds. These breeds were considered most suitable for archaeological purposes because of their retention of primitive traits [ 15 ]; [ 16 ].

Sheep specimens of other breeds have, however, also been recorded. Table 1 summarises the number of specimens that comprise the modern sample. This information should be reliable, as in many cases the life history of the animals was known, and there were no cases, during recording, in which the attribution of specimens to one or the other species, looked suspect.

All specimens are available and accessible in the above mentioned permanent repositories. The sample is not entirely even in terms of sex and age distribution. For both taxa, particularly sheep, there is a predominance of females, while castrates are only represented in the sheep group Table 1. The youngest stages mandibular wear stages A to C sensu Payne [ 17 ] are under-represented in both sheep and goat, and there are more old goats than old sheep H and I sensu Payne [ 17 ].

A study of the reliability and visibility of the morphological traits according to the age and sex of the animals was undertaken by Salvagno [ 19 ] and the results have confirmed what was previously observed [ 15 ]; [ 4 ]; [ 20 ] , namely that sex has little influence on the visibility and reliability of the traits, whereas some morphological characteristics may vary with age.

This will have to be considered in the interpretation, though we need to accept that it is virtually impossible to find samples of skeletons of the two species which have exactly the same sex and age distributions. A selection of morphological criteria that could relatively easily be translated into measurements was based on observations made by previous studies.

Whenever possible, measurements proposed and defined by von den Driesch [ 21 ] were taken, to enhance comparability with other studies. S2 Table provides the list of selected bones and measurements. The anatomical elements were selected according to two main criteria:. All measurements were taken using digital callipers and were approximated to the tenth of millimetre.

This measurement has been slightly modified from previous literature. Ddb depth of the distal end of the lateral side a newly introduced measurement. Callipers need to be positioned at the external edge of the trochlea ; 4 diameter of the external trochlea of the lateral condyle. Callipers need to be positioned at the external edge of the trochlea. Both measurements have been slightly modified from previous literature.

This measurement can be tricky to take as in some specimens the articular facet coincides with the area that projects out, forming the os malleolare , in others the beginning of the articular facet is visible before it starts projecting out. For sake of consistency we decided to take it where the articular facet starts projecting out and d length from the articular facet to the articulation-free part of the process. Our original recording protocol included measurements of teeth as well as postcranial bones.

However, many measurements could not be taken on teeth embedded in jaws, and this resulted in a too small sample of dental measurements.

For this reason this study focuses upon postcranial bones. All collected data were statistically tested. DA was run for each element individually, using species as grouping variables and the chosen measurements as independent variables.

Since the new protocol included several new and revised measurements, and given that we all tend to take measurements in a slightly different way, inter- and intra-observer error studies were conducted. For the inter-observer error, the new recording protocol was presented to a group of eight colleagues, including the writers, all experienced zooarchaeologists. The trial required the measuring of two sheep and two goat skeletons. To test reliability, an Interclass Correlation Coefficient ICC was adopted, as this is commonly used to establish and quantify reproducibility [ 22 ]: — as well as estimate inter-observer reliability on quantitative data [ 23 ]: The results revealed that, in general, the proposed measurements were taken consistently.

The less consistent measurements were mainly those previously described in the literature, rather than the new ones. Measurements of radius, ulna, tibia and 3 rd phalanx aka terminal phalanx provided the most consistent results [ 19 ].

For the intra-observer error, the same four specimens were repeatedly measured over several days by one of us LS. The results revealed similar trends to those detected through the inter-observer error test. Notably all measurements, even though to a different degree, gave higher ICC values compared to the values given by the Inter-Observer Error, confirming what was observed by previous researchers [ 24 ]; [ 25 ]; [ 26 ]; [ 27 ] , namely that the intra-observer error is generally lower than the inter-observer error see Table A in S1 File for more details.

In conclusion, both tests indicate a high degree of repeatability of the measurements included in the recording protocol.

Biometrical indices were plotted to emphasise potential shape differences. Although in some populations one of the two species may have larger body size than the other, their variability is such that neither can universally be characterised as being larger or smaller , therefore absolute size is of limited interest for this analysis. In a few cases, however, a linear measurement as opposed to a ratio was retained on one of the two axes, which means that, along that axis, the distribution will reflect size.

Although, due to allometric development, shape is not entirely independent from size, the emphasis in the analysis of metric ratios is on shape. The ratio between the length of the horncore E and the length of its outer curvature F is the most useful characteristic to discriminate between the two groups.

Horncores are generally easily distinguishable through simple visual observations, but this method allows us to demonstrate identifications and provide an indication of the degree of variability. There is a significant amount of overlap between the two groups. Goats tend to plot in the upper part of the diagram, reflecting the greater distance between the spine-edge and the glenoid cavity in this species [ 28 ]; [ 29 ].

This combination shows a relatively well-defined separation between the two species, despite some overlap. Goats show a greater width of the trochlea in relation to its height: in both species the medial part of the trochlea is higher, but in sheep more so than in goat, giving the goat trochlea an overall more cylindrical shape [ 28 ]; [ 29 ]. The only reason why this may not seem so obvious in Fig 3C is that the two ratios are highly correlated, resulting in a very dense distribution of points; yet almost all goats plot in the lower part of the diagram.

The measurements efficiently describe the presence of a well-developed in sheep or less developed sometimes even absent in goat lateral bicipital tuberosity on the lateral side of the proximal articular surface [ 28 ]; [ 8 ]; [ 4 ]. Equally promising are the results obtained from the ulna. Fig 23 shows two distinct groups with a small degree of overlap. Goats show higher values in both indices, reflecting how the lateral coronoid process projects more laterally than in sheep [ 28 ]; [ 1 ].

Some sheep outliers, however, plot in the middle of the goat distribution. Although these represent a distinct minority, they warn us that identifications must focus on the spread of the distributions rather than individual points, and that multiple lines of evidence and analysis must be used whenever possible.

Fig 24 describes the shape of the distal articulation though the horizontal axis only expresses size. A certain degree of overlap is present, but the distribution reflects the differences in shape of the distal articulation. Good results were obtained for metapodials.

The goat outlier is a pigmy goat, as such might have a different morphology. For both metapodials the most diagnostic measurements are those taken on the condyles and the verticilli of the condyles. The most successful ratios for the astragalus include measurements GLl, Dl and Bd that have also been adopted by Davis [ 10 ] and form the basis of a metrical method for separating sheep and goat astragali. In addition, the new measurement H, has also been proven to have some diagnostic value.

This reflects the fact that the sulcus at the middle of the trochlea is usually deeper in sheep than goat [ 1 ]. In addition, Dl in goat is influenced by the presence of an articular ridge which projects more obliquely in a distal direction, while in sheep it is less pronounced and more horizontally oriented [ 1 ]; [ 4 ].

Fig 32 represents a modified version of Fig 31 where H replaces GLl. The pattern is similar, with the greater separation occurring on the horizontal axis.

A description of the complete shape of the bone is given by Fig 33 , which includes all three main dimensions breadth, depth and length. The two groups fall into two different areas of the plot with only a few specimens overlapping.

Fig 35 demonstrates how the measurements suggested by Boessneck [ 28 ] in this study c, d and B for the calcaneum can be useful and, when plotted together, they provide good separation. Measurement B describes the difference between the articular facet of the os malleolare , which in sheep is of greater length than width, whereas in goat it is of greater width than length [ 28 ]; [ 1 ]; [ 4 ].

Fig 38 shows that these measurements are very effective as they provide good separation between the two groups. Mann Whitney tests of significance were run on the adopted indices, using the taxa as a grouping variable. This non-parametric test is an equivalent to the more commonly used independent t-test parametric test but requires fewer assumptions [ 31 ]: It was carried out with the purpose of checking whether differences between the two groups were statistically significant.

The results are provided in S3 Table , along with the Median middle score of a set of ordered observations , a more appropriate value than the mean for non-parametric tests [ 31 ]: , and Effect Size values objective and standardized measure of the magnitude of an observed effect; [ 31 ]: A Bonferroni adjustment was applied in order to avoid Type I Error i. In order to test if statistical significant differences were present also when two biometrical ratios were compared simultaneously, a Manova test was carried out for every combination of ratios used.

As S4 Table shows, all the F values are greater than 1 and the related p values are all significant, confirming that the differences between the modern sheep and goat samples, even when multiple ratios are combined, are statistically significant. Standard Discriminant Analysis [ 32 ]: was run in order to see if, by including all measurements at once, we could find a means of maximising the separation between the two species.

In addition, this method runs a re-classification of the known cases, thus testing the validity of the discriminating criteria [ 33 ]: The analysis was undertaken for each element individually, using species as the grouping variable and the chosen measurements as the independent variables.

Goat System Productions: Advantages and Disadvantages to the Animal, Environment and Farmer

Thanks for visiting Global Animal Partnership G. We are one of the largest farm animal welfare standards and labeling organizations in North America. We exist to positively impact the lives of millions of farm animals being raised for food each year. Though these two small ruminants have many similarities, sheep and goats are actually very different in terms of their anatomy, genealogy, and natural behavior. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when deciding which species you are looking at:. Most goats sport a fur hair coat and sheep are most often cloaked in warm, cozy wool though there are some sheep breeds that also coated in hair. Goat tails are naturally short and point straight up.

Similarities of Goats & Sheep

Distinguishing between the bones of sheep and goat is a notorious challenge in zooarchaeology. Several methodological contributions have been published at different times and by various people to facilitate this task, largely relying on a macro-morphological approach. This is now routinely adopted by zooarchaeologists but, although it certainly has its value, has also been shown to have limitations.

Sheep–goat hybrid

Sheep , Ovis aries , species of domesticated ruminant cud-chewing mammal , raised for its meat, milk, and wool. The sheep is usually stockier than its relative the goat genus Capra ; its horns, when present, are more divergent; it has scent glands in its face and hind feet; and the males lack the beards of goats. Sheep usually have short tails. In all wild species of sheep, the outer coat takes the form of hair, and beneath this lies a short undercoat of fine wool that has been developed into the fleece of domesticated sheep.

Sheep and goats are closely related. Both are in the same subfamily, Caprinae, and it is sometimes difficult to tell if a specific breed or strain is a goat or a sheep. Both goats and sheep are hoofed mammals, or ungulates.

Sheep vs Goat. The first difference that can be thought of pertains to how the two animals look. A goat is more slender of the two, while a sheep is tubbier. That apart a sheep gives us wool while a goat does not. In the west sheep meat is eaten whereas in the Middle East and the Indian sub continent a goat is eaten. Sheep belong to the Ovas Aries species and have 54 chromosomes while goats belong to Capra Hircus species and have 60 chromosomes. Their eating habits are distinct.


PDF | The objective of these studies was to compare preference for leafy spurge (​Euphorbia esula L.) by sheep and goats. Study 1 was a.


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Dairy goat Sannen. Sheep are grazers. Goats are browsers. Sheep About sheep.

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