Sheep Clip Art
Sheep have very good memories. They can remember at least 50 individual sheep and humans for years. They do this by using a similar neural process and part of the brain that humans use to remember.
Sheep have Ben shown to display emotions, some of which can be studied by observing the position of their ears.
Contrary to popular belief, sheep are extremely intelligent animals capable of problem-solving. They are considered to have a similar IQ level to cattle and are nearly as clever as pigs.
Like various other species including humans, sheep make different vocalizations to communicate different emotions. They also display and recognize emotion by facial expressions.
Sheep are known to self-medicate when they have some illnesses. They will eat specific plants when ill that can cure them.
Sheep are precocial (highly independent from birth) and gregarious (like to be in a group).
Female sheep (ewes) are very caring mothers and form deep bonds with their lambs that can recognize them by their call (bleat) when they wander too far away.
Wild sheep tend to be larger than domesticated species, the largest (Argali) being 1.2m tall. They also have longer horns which they use to defend themselves from predators.
Egyptians believed that sheep were sacred. They even had them mummified when they died, just like humans.
The ancient Sumerians (4000 – 2000 BCE), who are thought to have developed the first form of writing (Cuneiform script), immortalized sheep in the form of gods in their religion.
The meat of sheep is widely eaten by people across the world. Sheep milk is also drunk and used to make other products such as cheese. Many people who consume animal products would like to choose products from animals kept in higher welfare systems. However, welfare labeling on products can be confusing.
Sheep are social, but usually only with their own gender. Males have their own herds called bachelor herds. These herds usually contain five to 50 rams at one time. The females live in nursery herds. Nursery herds can have five to 100 members that include adult females and their young.
Sheep are related to antelopes, cattle, muskoxen, and goats. All of these mammals are even-toed ungulates — their hooves are cloven or split into two toes. They are also ruminants — their stomachs have multiple chambers to aid digestion. Most sheep have large, curling horns that are made of keratin — the same stuff as fingernails.
The largest species of sheep is the Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon), according to the ADW. These central Asian species weigh up to 408 lbs. (185 kilograms). It stands from 3 to 4.1 feet (90 to 125 centimeters) at the shoulder, and its length is from 4 to 6.2 feet (120 to 190 cm) head to tail.
Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) of the Rocky Mountains are similar in size. Males are typically 5 to 6 feet (160 to 180 cm) long, head to tail; females are about 4.9 feet (150 cm), according to the ADW. Males weigh 262 to 280 lbs. (119 to 127 kg); females weigh 116 to 200 lbs. (53 to 91 kg). Bighorn rams have massive horns that weigh more than all of the bones in their bodies, about 30 lbs. (14 kg).
Dall’s Sheep (Ovis Dalli) live in Alaska and the Yukon. They are the only thin-horned mountain sheep. Males have massive flaring and curling horns, but females have slender horns. Males weigh 160 to 249 lbs. (73 to 113 kg); females 101 to 110 lbs. (46 to 50 kg). Males are from 4.2 to 5.9 feet (130 to 180 cm) in length; females are 4.3 to 5.3 feet (132 to 162 cm).
The Snow Sheep, or Siberian bighorn sheep (Ovis nivicola), lives in eastern Russia, according to the Ultimate Ungulate website. It is 4.6 to 5.3 feet (140 to 160 cm) long and 3.1 to 3.7 feet (95 to 112 cm) at the shoulder. It weighs 132 to 164 lbs. (60 to 120 kg).