An Eco-sustainable World

Sheep and goats

The Caprines (Caprinae Gray, 1821) are one of the eight subfamilies into which the Bovidae family is divided.
Goats include 38 species found in the mountainous regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
To this subfamily belong, among others, goats and sheep, successful breeds all over the world thanks to a series of adaptations to mountain environments, which give them considerable flexibility.
Goats separated from other ancestral Bovids in the lower Miocene, about 18-15 million years ago, and made their first appearance in Eurasia. This subfamily, however, did not succeed in occupying the niches of the plains, already under the dominion of the Cervids, but found a specific niche in the Alpine environments. The prevalence of mountain ranges in Europe and Asia gave them the ability to evolve rapidly already during the Upper Miocene. The lack of alpine habitats in Africa (and, on the other hand, their abundance in Eurasia) explains why they are the only subfamily of Bovidae with greater diversity in Eurasia than in Africa.
Within this subfamily we also find the genus of goats (Capra Linnaeus, 1758) and the genus of sheep (Ovis Linnaeus, 1758) which includes many species raised both for the production of milk, cheese and wool.

Guido Bissanti