- This article is about goats, the animals. For the web comic, see Goats (comic).
A goat is an animal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur , the East Caucasian Tur , the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. The animal most commonly known as a "goat" is the Domestic Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus), which is a subspecies of the Wild Goat.
Goats are bovines (members of the family Bovidae) and are related to cows and antelopes.
Goats are widely scattered throughout Eurasia and Africa.
The Rocky Mountain Goat, despite its name, is not considered a true goat by scientists as it belongs to the genus Oreamnos.
Along with sheep, goats were among the first domesticated animals. The domestication of goats started at least 10,000 years ago. Goat hair and milk were the most important reasons for their domestication. Goat skins were used for water and wine bottles when traveling and camping and as parchment for writing.
Species and subspecies
Preferring woody and weedy species, goats select the young growing points first as they browse downward from the upper parts of a plant.
Photo by Scott Bauer for the USDA
- Wild Goat (also "Bezoar Goat" or "Pasang"; Capra aegagrus)
- Domestic Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus)
- Kri-kri (also "Cretan goat," "Agrimi," or "Cretan Ibex"; Capra aegagrus creticus)
- West Caucasian Tur (Capra caucasia)
- East Caucasian Tur (Capra cylindricornis)
- Cashmere goat (Capra hircus)
- Markhor (Capra falconeri)
- Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri)
- Chialtan Markhor (Capra falconeri chialtanensis)
- Straight-horned Markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros)
- Suleman Markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni)
- Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex)
- Four subspecies
- Capra ibex ibex
- Nubian Ibex (Capra ibex nubiana, also classified as separate species)
- Asiatic Ibex (Capra ibex sibirica, also classified as separate species)
- Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana)
- Spanish Ibex (Capra pyrenaica)
- Three subspecies
- Pyrenean Ibex (extinct; Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica)
- Portuguese Ibex (extinct; Capra pyrenaica lusitanica)
- Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica)
- Walia Ibex (Capra walie)
- Asiatic Ibex (Capra sibirica)