Livestock is defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, milk, fur and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States; the USDA uses livestock to some uses of the term “red meat”, in which it refers to all the mammal animals kept in this setting to be used as commodities. The USDA mentions pork, veal and lamb are all classified as livestock and all livestock is considered to be red meats. Poultry and fish are not included in the category; the breeding and slaughter of livestock, known as animal husbandry, is a component of modern agriculture, practiced in many cultures since humanity's transition to farming from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animal husbandry practices have varied across cultures and time periods. Livestock were not confined by fences or enclosures, but these practices have shifted to intensive animal farming, sometimes referred to as "factory farming".
Now, over 99% of livestock are raised on factory farms. These practices increase yield of the various commercial outputs, but have led to negative impacts on animal welfare and the environment. Livestock production continues to play a major economic and cultural role in numerous rural communities. Livestock as a word was first used between 1650 and 1660, as a merger between the words "live" and "stock". In some periods, "cattle" and "livestock" have been used interchangeably. Today, the modern meaning of cattle is domesticated bovines. United States federal legislation defines the term to make specified agricultural commodities eligible or ineligible for a program or activity. For example, the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 defines livestock only as cattle and sheep, while the 1988 disaster assistance legislation defined the term as "cattle, goats, poultry, equine animals used for food or in the production of food, fish used for food, other animals designated by the Secretary."Deadstock is defined in contradistinction to livestock as "animals that have died before slaughter, sometimes from illness".
It is illegal in many countries, such as Canada, to sell or process meat from dead animals for human consumption. Animal-rearing originated during the cultural transition to settled farming communities from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animals are domesticated when their living conditions are controlled by humans. Over time, the collective behaviour and physiology of livestock have changed radically. Many modern farm animals are unsuited to life in the wild; the dog was domesticated early. Goats and sheep were domesticated in multiple events sometime between 11,000 and 5,000 years ago in Southwest Asia. Pigs were domesticated by 8,500 BC in the Near 6,000 BC in China. Domestication of the horse dates to around 4000 BC. Cattle have been domesticated since 10,500 years ago. Chickens and other poultry may have been domesticated around 7000 BC; the term "livestock" is may be defined narrowly or broadly. Broadly, livestock refers to any breed or population of animal kept by humans for a useful, commercial purpose.
This can mean semidomestic animals, or captive wild animals. Semidomesticated refers to animals which are only domesticated or of disputed status; these populations may be in the process of domestication. Traditionally, animal husbandry was part of the subsistence farmer's way of life, producing not only the food needed by the family but the fuel, clothing and draught power. Killing the animal for food was a secondary consideration, wherever possible its products, such as wool, eggs and blood were harvested while the animal was still alive. In the traditional system of transhumance and livestock moved seasonally between fixed summer and winter pastures. Animals can be kept intensively. Extensive systems involve animals roaming at will, or under the supervision of a herdsman for their protection from predators. Ranching in the Western United States involves large herds of cattle grazing over public and private lands. Similar cattle stations are found in South America and other places with large areas of land and low rainfall.
Ranching systems have been used for sheep, ostrich, emu and alpaca. In the uplands of the United Kingdom, sheep are turned out on the fells in spring and graze the abundant mountain grasses untended, being brought to lower altitudes late in the year, with supplementary feeding being provided in winter. In rural locations and poultry can obtain much of their nutrition from scavenging, in African communities, hens may live for months without being fed, still produce one or two eggs a week. At the other extreme, in the more developed parts of the world, animals are intensively managed. In between these two extremes are semi-intensive family run farms where livestock graze outside for much of the year, silage or hay is made to cove
The Mongol horse is the native horse breed of Mongolia. The breed is purported to be unchanged since the time of Genghis Khan. Nomads living in the traditional Mongol fashion still hold more than 3 million animals, which outnumber the country's human population. Despite their small size, they are horses, not ponies. In Mongolia, the horses live outdoors all year, dealing with temperatures from 30 °C in summer down to −40 °C in winter, they graze and search for food on their own; the mare's milk is processed into the national beverage airag. Some animals are slaughtered for meat. Other than that, they serve as transport animals. Mongol horses were a key factor supporting the 13th-century conquests of the Mongol Empire. Mongol horses are of a stocky build, with short but strong legs and a large head, they weigh about 600 lbs. and range in size from 12 to 14 hands high. Their cannon bone external circumference is about 8 inches, they have a slight resemblance to Przewalski's horse and were once believed to have originated from that subspecies.
However, that theory was disproven in 2011 by genetic testing. Przewalski's horse has been conclusively shown not to be an ancestor of any domestic horse, though it can interbreed with domesticated horses to hybridize and produce fertile offspring. Of the caballine equines, E. ferus, only E. ferus ferus known as the European wild horse or "tarpan," shares ancestry with the modern domestic horse. The mane and tail of the Mongol horse are long, their strands are used for braiding ropes. Mongolian horses have great stamina; when pulling a cart, a team of four Mongol horses can draw a load of 4400 lbs for 50–60 km a day. Because the horses are allowed to live much the same as wild horses, they require little in the way of hoof care; the hooves are left untrimmed and unshod, few farriers are in the country. Mongol horses have hard, strong hooves and have foot problems. Sometimes, horses will be branded. Horses from different regions of Mongolia are considered to have different traits. Desert horses are said to have larger feet than average.
Mountain horses are short and strong. Steppe horses are the fastest variety of Mongol horses; the eastern Khentii Province and Sükhbaatar Province steppe provinces are considered to produce the fastest horses in the country. Darkhad horses are known for their strength. A Darkhad horse weighing only 250 kg can carry a load of 300 kg—the equivalent of carrying another horse on its back. On a broader level, some Mongolian provinces are considered to be more suitable for horse rearing than others; the eastern steppe provinces are informally known as the "horse provinces" because of their suitability for horse breeding. The northern mountain provinces are considered "cow provinces", though horses are reared there, as well. A wide variety of horse colorations are seen. People in the different regions of Mongolia breed accordingly; the Darkhad ethnic group prefers white horses, while the Nyamgavaa prefer dun, bay, or black horses and shun white-colored animals. Some horses are bred for the preferences of foreign markets.
Elizabeth Kendall, travelling through southern Mongolia in 1911, wrote, "I was struck by the number of white and grey ponies, was told that horses are bred chiefly for the market in China, this is the Chinese preference." She observed that the northern Mongolian herds near Tuerin seemed to consist of black and chestnut horses. Herdsmen breed horses for color and speed, but for conformation and lineage. In Mongolia, conformation is not stressed so as it is in Western culture. However, a few traits are preferred in a horse; when walking, a horse should leave hind footprints that fall outside the fore footprints. A desirable animal should have a large head, thick bones, a large barrel, thick legs, be tall, possess a thick coat for cold resistance, have a thick mane and tail, a Roman nose. Giovanni de Carpini was one of the first Westerners to describe Mongol horses, observing, "... are not great in stature, but exceedingly strong, maintained with little provender."Mongol horses are frugal, somewhat wily, tread safely in rough terrain.
In Mongolia, most animals are kept roaming free, only a small number of riding animals are caught and tethered. A nomad's herd of horses hangs out around the family's dwelling grazing several miles away; the herd is allowed to choose its own pasturage with little interference from the owners. They may disappear for days at a time, the owners go out to look for them. Once a horse has become familiar with carrying a rider, it will be calm and reliable; because nature provides so well for Mongol horses, they cost little to nothing to raise. They are a practical necessity of everyday life, in which a substantial portion of the population still lives as nomads. Herdsmen regard their horses as both a form of wealth and a source of the daily necessities: transportation and drink; the horses eat nothing but grass and require little water, a trait useful for survival in environments like the Gobi desert. A horse may drink only once a day. In the winter, Mongol horses paw up the snow to e
Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The category includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal refers only to non-human animals; the study of non-human animals is known as zoology. Most living animal species are in the Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan; the Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms and chordates.
Life forms interpreted. Many modern animal phyla became established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified. Aristotle divided animals into those with those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between animal taxa. Humans make use of many other animal species for food, including meat and eggs. Dogs have been used in hunting, while many aquatic animals are hunted for sport.
Non-human animals have appeared in art from the earliest times and are featured in mythology and religion. The word "animal" comes from the Latin animalis, having soul or living being; the biological definition includes all members of the kingdom Animalia. In colloquial usage, as a consequence of anthropocentrism, the term animal is sometimes used nonscientifically to refer only to non-human animals. Animals have several characteristics. Animals are eukaryotic and multicellular, unlike bacteria, which are prokaryotic, unlike protists, which are eukaryotic but unicellular. Unlike plants and algae, which produce their own nutrients animals are heterotrophic, feeding on organic material and digesting it internally. With few exceptions, animals breathe oxygen and respire aerobically. All animals are motile during at least part of their life cycle, but some animals, such as sponges, corals and barnacles become sessile; the blastula is a stage in embryonic development, unique to most animals, allowing cells to be differentiated into specialised tissues and organs.
All animals are composed of cells, surrounded by a characteristic extracellular matrix composed of collagen and elastic glycoproteins. During development, the animal extracellular matrix forms a flexible framework upon which cells can move about and be reorganised, making the formation of complex structures possible; this may be calcified, forming structures such as shells and spicules. In contrast, the cells of other multicellular organisms are held in place by cell walls, so develop by progressive growth. Animal cells uniquely possess the cell junctions called tight junctions, gap junctions, desmosomes. With few exceptions—in particular, the sponges and placozoans—animal bodies are differentiated into tissues; these include muscles, which enable locomotion, nerve tissues, which transmit signals and coordinate the body. There is an internal digestive chamber with either one opening or two openings. Nearly all animals make use of some form of sexual reproduction, they produce haploid gametes by meiosis.
These fuse to form zygotes, which develop via mitosis into a hollow sphere, called a blastula. In sponges, blastula larvae swim to a new location, attach to the seabed, develop into a new sponge. In most other groups, the blastula undergoes more complicated rearrangement, it first invaginates to form a gastrula with a digestive chamber and two separate germ layers, an external ectoderm and an internal endoderm. In most cases, a third germ layer, the mesoderm develops between them; these germ layers differentiate to form tissues and organs. Repeated instances of mating with a close relative during sexual reproduction leads to inbreeding depression within a population due to the increased prevalence of harmful recessive traits. Animals have evolved numerous mechanisms for avoiding close inbreeding. In some species, such as the splendid fairywren, females benefit by mating with multiple males, thus producing more offspring of higher genetic quality; some animals are capable of asexual reproduction, which results
The Gobi Desert is a large desert or brushland region in Asia. It covers parts of Northern and Northeastern China, of southern Mongolia; the desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Taklamakan Desert to the west, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, by the North China Plain to the southeast. The Gobi is notable in history as part of the great Mongol Empire, as the location of several important cities along the Silk Road; the Gobi is a rain shadow desert, formed by the Tibetan Plateau blocking precipitation from the Indian Ocean reaching the Gobi territory. The Gobi measures over 1,600 km from 800 km from north to south; the desert is widest in the west, along the line joining the Lop Nor. It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 in area as of 2007. Much of the Gobi has exposed bare rock. In its broadest definition, the Gobi includes the long stretch of desert extending from the foot of the Pamirs to the Greater Khingan Mountains, 116°-118° east, on the border of Manchuria.
A large area on the east side of the Greater Khingan range, between the upper waters of the Songhua and the upper waters of the Liao-ho, is reckoned to belong to the Gobi by conventional usage. Some geographers and ecologists prefer to regard the western area of the Gobi region: the basin of the Tarim in Xinjiang and the desert basin of Lop Nor and Hami, as forming a separate and independent desert, called the Taklamakan Desert. Archeologists and paleontologists have done excavations in the Nemegt Basin in the northwestern part of the Gobi Desert, noted for its fossil treasures, including early mammals, dinosaur eggs, prehistoric stone implements, some 100,000 years old; the Gobi is overall a cold desert, with frost and snow occurring on its dunes. Besides being quite far north, it is located on a plateau 910–1,520 metres above sea level, which contributes to its low temperatures. An average of 194 millimetres of rain falls annually in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes.
These winds may cause the Gobi to reach −40 °C in winter to 45 °C in summer. However, the climate of the Gobi is one of great extremes, combined with rapid changes of temperature of as much as 35 °C; these can occur not within 24 hours. In southern Mongolia, the temperature has been recorded as low as −32.8 °C. In contrast, in Alxa, Inner Mongolia, it rises as high as 37 °C in July. Average winter minimums are a frigid −21 °C, while summertime maximums are a warm 27 °C. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer. Although the southeast monsoons reach the southeast parts of the Gobi, the area throughout this region is characterized by extreme dryness during the winter, when the Siberian anticyclone is at its strongest; the southern and central parts of the Gobi Desert have variable plant growth due to this monsoon activity. The more northern areas of the Gobi are cold and dry, making it unable to support much plant growth. Hence, the icy snowstorms of spring and early summer plus early January.
The Gobi Desert is the source including the first dinosaur eggs. Despite the harsh conditions, these deserts and the surrounding regions sustain many animals, including black-tailed gazelles, marbled polecats, wild Bactrian camels, Mongolian wild ass and sandplovers, they are visited by snow leopards, brown bears, wolves. Lizards are well-adapted to the climate of the Gobi Desert, with 30 species distributed across its southern Mongolian border; the most common vegetation in the Gobi desert are shrubs adapted to drought. These shrubs included gray sparrow's saltwort, gray sagebrush, low grasses such as needle grass and bridlegrass. Due to livestock grazing, the amount of shrubs in the desert has decreased. Several large nature reserves have been established in the Gobi, including Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Great Gobi A and Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area; the area is vulnerable to trampling by livestock and off-road vehicles. In Mongolia, grasslands have been degraded by goats, which are raised by nomadic herders as source of cashmere wool.
Large copper deposits are being mined by Rio Tinto Group. The mine remains controversial. There was significant opposition in Mongolia's parliament to the terms under which the mine will proceed, some are calling for the terms to be renegotiated; the contention revolves around the question of whether negotiations were fair and whether Rio Tinto will pay adequate taxes on the revenues it derives from the mine (an agreement was reached whereby the operation will be exempt from windfall tax. The Gobi Desert is expanding at an alarming rate, in a process known as desertification; the expansion is rapid on the southern edge into China, which has seen 3,600 km2 (1,390
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China. Located in Southwest China, the province spans 394,000 square kilometres and has a population of 45.7 million. The capital of the province is Kunming also known as Yunnan; the province borders the Chinese provinces Guangxi, Guizhou and the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as the countries Vietnam and Myanmar. Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with high elevations in the northwest and low elevations in the southeast. Most of the population lives in the eastern part of the province. In the west, the altitude can vary from the mountain peaks to river valleys by as much as 3,000 metres. Yunnan has the largest diversity of plant life in China. Of the 30,000 species of higher plants in China, Yunnan has 17,000 or more. Yunnan's reserves of aluminium, lead and tin are the largest in China, there are major reserves of copper and nickel; the Han Empire first recorded diplomatic relations with the province at the end of the 2nd century BC. It became the seat of a Sino-Tibetan-speaking kingdom of Nanzhao in the 8th century AD.
Nanzhao was multi-ethnic. The Mongols conquered the region in the 13th century, with local control exercised by warlords until the 1930s. From the Yuan dynasty onward, the area was part of a central-government sponsored population movement towards the southwestern frontier, with two major waves of migrants arriving from Han-majority areas in northern and southeast China; as with other parts of China's southwest, Japanese occupation in the north during World War II forced another migration of majority Han people into the region. These two waves of migration contributed to Yunnan being one of the most ethnically diverse provinces of China, with ethnic minorities accounting for about 34 percent of its total population. Major ethnic groups include Yi, Hani, Zhuang and Miao; the Yuanmou Man, a Homo erectus fossil unearthed by railway engineers in the 1960s, has been determined to be the oldest-known hominid fossil in China. By the Neolithic period, there were human settlements in the area of Lake Dian.
These people constructed simple wooden structures. Around the 3rd century BC, the central area of Yunnan around present day Kunming was known as Dian; the Chu general Zhuang Qiao entered the region from the upper Yangtze River and set himself up as "King of Dian". He and his followers brought into Yunnan an influx of Chinese influence, the start of a long history of migration and cultural expansion. In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang extended his authority south. Commanderies and counties were established in Yunnan. An existing road in Sichuan – the "Five Foot Way" – was extended south to around present day Qujing, in eastern Yunnan; the Han–Dian wars began under Emperor Wu. He dispatched a series of military campaigns against the Dian during the southward expansion of the Han dynasty. In 109 BC, Emperor Wu sent General Guo Chang south to Yunnan, establishing Yizhou commandery and 24 subordinate counties; the commandery seat was at Dianchi county in present-day Jinning. Another county was called "Yunnan" the first use of the name.
To expand the burgeoning trade with Burma and India, Emperor Wu sent Tang Meng to maintain and expand the Five Foot Way, renaming it "Southwest Barbarian Way". By this time, agricultural technology in Yunnan had improved markedly; the local people used bronze tools and kept a variety of livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats and dogs. Anthropologists have determined, they lived in tribal congregations, sometimes led by exiled Chinese. During the Three Kingdoms, the territory of present-day Yunnan, western Guizhou and southern Sichuan was collectively called Nanzhong; the dissolution of Chinese central authority led to increased autonomy for Yunnan and more power for the local tribal structures. In AD 225, the famed statesman Zhuge Liang led three columns into Yunnan to pacify the tribes, his seven captures of Meng Huo, a local magnate, is much celebrated in Chinese folklore. International trade flowed by din of Yunnan. In the 4th century, northern China was overrun by nomadic tribes from the north.
In the 320s, the Cuan clan migrated into Yunnan. Cuan Chen named himself king and held authority from Lake Dian known as Kunchuan. Henceforth the Cuan clan ruled eastern Yunnan for over four hundred years. Before the rise and dominance of the Nanzhao Kingdom around Yunnan in the eighth century, many local tribes and other groups sprang up. Around Lake Erhai, the Dali area, there emerged six zhao: Mengzi, Langqiong, Dengdan and Mengshe. Zhao was an indigenous non-Chinese language term meaning "king" or "kingdom." Among the six regimes Mengshe was located south of the other five. By the 730s Nanzhao had succeeded in bringing the Erhai Lake–area under its authority. In 738, the western Yunnan was united by Piluoge, the fourth king of Nanzhao, confirmed by the imperial court of the Tang dynasty as king of Yunnan. Ruling from Dali, the thirteen kings of Nanzhao ruled over more than two centuries and played a part in the dynamic relationship between China and Tibet. By the 750s, Nanzhao had taken eastern Yunnan into its empire and had become a potential rival to Tang China.
The following period saw conflicts between Tang China and Nanzhao. In 750, Nanzhao captured Yaozhou, the largest Tang settlement in Yunnan. In 751, Xianyu Zhongtong (
The tiger is the largest species among the Felidae and classified in the genus Panthera. It is most recognizable for its dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside, it is an apex predator preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. It is territorial and a solitary but social predator, requiring large contiguous areas of habitat, which support its requirements for prey and rearing of its offspring. Tiger cubs stay with their mother for about two years, before they become independent and leave their mother's home range to establish their own; the tiger once ranged from Eastern Anatolia Region in the west to the Amur River basin, in the south from the foothills of the Himalayas to Bali in the Sunda islands. Since the early 20th century, tiger populations have lost at least 93% of their historic range and have been extirpated in Western and Central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, in large areas of Southeast and South Asia and China. Today's tiger range is fragmented, stretching from Siberian temperate forests to subtropical and tropical forests on the Indian subcontinent and Sumatra.
The tiger is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 1986. As of 2015, the global wild tiger population was estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 mature individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets isolated from each other. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. This, coupled with the fact that it lives in some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans; the tiger is among the most popular of the world's charismatic megafauna. It featured prominently in ancient mythology and folklore and continues to be depicted in modern films and literature, appearing on many flags, coats of arms and as mascots for sporting teams; the tiger is the national animal of India, Bangladesh and South Korea. The Middle English tigre and Old English tigras derive from Latin tigris; this was a borrowing of Classical Greek τίγρις'tigris', a foreign borrowing of unknown origin meaning'tiger' as well as the river Tigris.
The origin may have been the Persian word tigra meaning'pointed or sharp', the Avestan word tigrhi'arrow' referring to the speed of the tiger's leap, although these words are not known to have any meanings associated with tigers. The generic name Panthera is traceable to the Old French word'pantère', the Latin word panthera, the Ancient Greek word πάνθηρ'panther'; the Sanskrit word पाण्डर pând-ara means'pale yellow, white'. In 1758, Carl Linnaeus described the tiger in his work Systema Naturae and gave it the scientific name Felis tigris. In 1929, the British taxonomist Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the species under the genus Panthera using the scientific name Panthera tigris; the tiger's closest living relatives were thought to be the Panthera species lion and jaguar. Results of genetic analysis indicate that about 2.88 million years ago, the tiger and the snow leopard lineages diverged from the other Panthera species, that both may be more related to each other than to the lion and jaguar.
P. T. palaeosinensis from the Early Pleistocene of northern China is the most primitive known tiger to date. Fossil remains of Panthera zdanskyi were excavated in Gansu province of northwestern China; this species lived at the beginning of the Pleistocene about two million years ago, is considered to be a sister taxon of the modern tiger. It was about the size of a jaguar and had a different coat pattern. Despite being considered more "primitive", it was functionally and also ecologically similar to the modern tiger. Northwestern China is thought to be the origin of the tiger lineage. Tigers grew in size in response to adaptive radiations of prey species like deer and bovids, which may have occurred in Southeast Asia during the early Pleistocene. Panthera tigris trinilensis lived about 1.2 million years ago and is known from fossils excavated near Trinil in Java. The Wanhsien, Ngandong and Japanese tigers became extinct in prehistoric times. Tigers reached India and northern Asia in the late Pleistocene, reaching eastern Beringia and Sakhalin.
Some fossil skulls are morphologically distinct from lion skulls, which could indicate tiger presence in Alaska during the last glacial period, about 100,000 years ago. Tiger fossils found in the island of Palawan were smaller than mainland tiger fossils due to insular dwarfism. Fossil remains of tigers were excavated in Sri Lanka, Japan, Sarawak dating to the late Pliocene and Early Holocene; the Bornean tiger was present in Borneo between the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene, but may have gone extinct in prehistoric times. The potential tiger range during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene was predicted applying ecological niche modelling based on more than 500 tiger locality records combined with bioclimatic data; the resulting model shows a contiguous tiger range from southern India to Siberia at the Last Glacial Maximum, indicating an unobstructed gene flow between tiger populations in mainland Asia throughout the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. The tiger populations on the Sunda Islands and mainland Asia were separated during interglacial periods.
Results of a phylogeographic study indicate that all living tigers had a common ancestor 72,000–108,000 years ago. The tiger's full genome sequence was published in 2013, it was found to have similar repeat composition to other cat genomes and an appreciably conserved synteny. Following Linnaeus's first descriptions of t
The wolf known as the grey/gray wolf or timber wolf, is a canine native to the wilderness and remote areas of Eurasia and North America. It is the largest extant member of its family, with males averaging 43 -- females 36 -- 38.5 kg. It is distinguished from other Canis species by its larger size and less pointed features on the ears and muzzle, its winter fur is long and bushy and predominantly a mottled gray in color, although nearly pure white and brown to black occur. Mammal Species of the World, a standard reference work in zoology, recognises 38 subspecies of C. lupus. The gray wolf is the second most specialized member of the genus Canis, after the Ethiopian wolf, as demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting large prey, its more gregarious nature, its advanced expressive behavior, it is nonetheless related enough to smaller Canis species, such as the coyote, golden jackal, to produce fertile hybrids. It is the only species of Canis to have a range encompassing both Eurasia and North America, originated in Eurasia during the Pleistocene, colonizing North America on at least three separate occasions during the Rancholabrean.
It is a social animal, travelling in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair, accompanied by the pair's adult offspring. The gray wolf is an apex predator throughout its range, with only humans and tigers posing a serious threat to it, it feeds on large ungulates, though it eats smaller animals, livestock and garbage. A seven-year-old wolf is considered to be old, the maximum lifespan is about 16 years; the global gray wolf population is estimated to be 300,000. The gray wolf is one of the world's best-known and most-researched animals, with more books written about it than any other wildlife species, it has a long history of association with humans, having been despised and hunted in most pastoral communities because of its attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected in some agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies. Although the fear of wolves is pervasive in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people children, but this is rare, as wolves are few, live away from people, have developed a fear of humans from hunters and shepherds.
The English'wolf' stems from the Old English wulf, itself thought to be derived from the Proto-Germanic *wulfaz. The Latin lupus is a Sabine loanword. Both derive from the Proto-Indo-European root * lukwos; the species Canis lupus was first recorded by Carl Linnaeus in his publication Systema Naturae in 1758, with the Latin classification translating into the English words "dog wolf". The 37 subspecies of Canis lupus are listed under the designated common name of "wolf" in Mammal Species of the World, published in 2005; the nominate subspecies is the Eurasian wolf known as the common wolf. The subspecies includes the domestic dog, eastern wolf and red wolf, but lists C. l. italicus as a synonym of C. l. lupus. However, the classification of several as either species or subspecies has been challenged; the evolution of the wolf occurred over a geologic time scale of at least 300,000 years. The gray wolf Canis lupus is a adaptable species, able to exist in a range of environments and which possesses a wide distribution across the Holarctic.
Studies of modern gray wolves have identified distinct sub-populations that live in close proximity to each other. This variation in sub-populations is linked to differences in habitat – precipitation, temperature and prey specialization – which affect cranio-dental plasticity; the archaeological and paleontological records show gray wolf continuous presence for at least the last 300,000 years. This continuous presence contrasts with genomic analyses, which suggest that all modern wolves and dogs descend from a common ancestral wolf population that existed as as 20,000 years ago; these analyses indicate a population bottleneck, followed by a rapid radiation from an ancestral population at a time during, or just after, the Last Glacial Maximum. However, the geographic origin of this radiation is not known. In 2018, whole genome sequencing was used to compare members of the genus Canis, along with the dhole and the African hunting dog. There is evidence of gene flow between African golden wolves, golden jackals, gray wolves.
One African golden wolf from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula showed high admixture with the Middle Eastern gray wolves and dogs, highlighting the role of the land bridge between the African and Eurasian continents in canid evolution. There was evidence of gene flow between golden jackals and Middle Eastern wolves, less so with European and Asian wolves, least with North American wolves; the study proposes that the golden jackal ancestry found in North American wolves may have occurred before the divergence of the Eurasian and North American gray wolves. The study indicates that the common ancestor of the coyote and gray wolf has genetically admixed with a ghost population of an extinct unidentified canid; the canid is genetically close to the dhole and has evolved after the divergence of the African hunting dog from the other canid species. The basal position of the coyote compared to the wolf is proposed to be due to the coyote retaining more of the mitochondrial genome of this unknown canid.
In 2013, a genetic study found that the wolf population in Europe was divided along a north-south axis and formed five major clusters. Three clusters were identified occupying southern and