The subfamily Caprinae is part of the ruminant family Bovidae, consists of medium-sized bovids. A member of this subfamily is called a caprine. A member is sometimes referred to as a goat-antelope, this term "goat-antelope" does not mean that these animals are true antelopes: a true antelope is a bovid with a cervid-like or antilocaprid-like morphology. Within this subfamily Caprinae, a prominent tribe, includes sheep and goats; some earlier taxonomies considered Caprinae a separate family called Capridae, but now it is considered a subfamily within the family Bovidae, whence a caprine is a kind of bovid. Although most goat-antelopes are gregarious and have stocky builds, they diverge in many other ways – the muskox is adapted to the extreme cold of the tundra; the European mouflon is thought to be the ancestor of the modern domestic sheep. Many species have become extinct since the last ice age largely because of human interaction. Of the survivors: Five are classified as endangered, Eight as vulnerable, Seven as of concern and needing conservation measures, but at lower risk, Seven species are secure.
Members of the group vary in size, from just over 1 m long for a full-grown grey goral, to 2.5 m long for a musk ox, from under 30 kg to more than 350 kg. Musk oxen in captivity have reached over 650 kg; the lifestyles of caprids fall into two broad classes:'resource-defenders', which are territorial and defend a small, food-rich area against other members of the same species. The resource-defenders are the more primitive group: they tend to be smaller in size, dark in colour and females alike, have long, tassellated ears, long manes, dagger-shaped horns; the grazers evolved more recently. They tend to be larger social, rather than mark territory with scent glands, they have evolved dominance behaviours. No sharp line divides the groups, but a continuum varies from the serows at one end of the spectrum to sheep, true goats, musk oxen at the other; the goat-antelope, or caprid, group is known from as early as the Miocene, when members of the group resembled the modern serow in their general body form.
The group did not reach its greatest diversity until the recent ice ages, when many of its members became specialised for marginal extreme, environments: mountains and the subarctic region. The ancestors of the modern sheep and goats are thought to have moved into mountainous regions – sheep becoming specialised occupants of the foothills and nearby plains, relying on flight and flocking for defence against predators, goats adapting to steep terrain where predators are at a disadvantage. FAMILY BOVIDAE Subfamily Caprinae Tribe Ovibovini Genus Budorcas Takin, Budorcas taxicolor Genus Ovibos Muskox, Ovibos moschatus Tribe Caprini Genus Ammotragus Barbary sheep, Ammotragus lervia Genus Arabitragus Arabian tahr, Arabitragus jayakari Genus Capra West Caucasian tur, Capra caucasica East Caucasian tur, Capra caucasica cylindricornis Markhor, Capra falconeri Wild goat, Capra aegagrus Domestic goat, Capra aegagrus hircus Alpine ibex, Capra ibex Nubian ibex, Capra nubiana Spanish ibex, Capra pyrenaica Siberian ibex, Capra sibirica Walia ibex, Capra walie Genus Hemitragus Himalayan tahr, Hemitragus jemlahicus Genus Ovis Argali, Ovis ammon Domestic sheep, Ovis aries Bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis Dall or thinhorn sheep, Ovis dalli European mouflon, Ovis musimon Marco Polo sheep, Ovis polii Snow sheep, Ovis nivicola Wild sheep, Ovis orientalis Mouflon, Ovis orientalis orientalis Urial, Ovis orientalis vignei Genus Nilgiritragus Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiritragus hylocrius Genus Pseudois Bharal, Pseudois nayaur Dwarf blue sheep, Pseudois schaeferi Tribe Naemorhedini Genus Capricornis Japanese serow, Capricornis crispus Sumatran serow, Capricornis sumatraensis Taiwan serow, Capricornis swinhoei Chinese serow, Capricornis milneedwardsii Red serow, Capricornis rubidus Himalayan serow Capricornis thar Genus Nemorhaedus Red goral, Nemorhaedus baileyi Chinese goral, Nemorhaedus griseus Grey goral, Nemorhaedus goral Long-tailed goral, Naemorhedus caudatus Genus Oreamnos Mountain goat, Oreamnos americanus Genus Rupicapra Pyrenean chamois, Rupicapra pyrenaica Alpine chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra The following extinct genera of Caprinae have been identified: Tribe Ovibovini Genus Bootherium † Bootherium bombifrons † Genus Euceratherium † Euceratherium collinum † Genus Makapania † Makapania broomi † Genus Soergelia † Soergelia mayfieldi † Genus Tsaidamotherium † Tsaidamotherium brevirostrum † Tsaidamotherium hedini † Tribe Caprini Genus Myotragus † Myotragus balearicus †Unsorted
The bighorn sheep is a species of sheep native to North America. The species is aptly named for its large horns. A pair of horns might weigh up to 14 kg. Recent genetic testing indicates three distinct subspecies of Ovis canadensis, one of, endangered: O. c. sierrae. Sheep crossed to North America over the Bering land bridge from Siberia. By 1900, the population had crashed to several thousand, due to diseases introduced through European livestock and overhunting. Ovis canadensis is one of three species of mountain sheep in North Siberia. Wild sheep crossed the Bering land bridge from Siberia into Alaska during the Pleistocene and subsequently spread through western North America as far south as Baja California and northwestern mainland Mexico. Divergence from their closest Asian ancestor occurred about 600,000 years ago. In North America, wild sheep diverged into two extant species—Dall sheep, which occupy Alaska and northwestern Canada, bighorn sheep, which range from southwestern Canada to Mexico.
However, the status of these species is questionable given that hybridization has occurred between them in their recent evolutionary history. In 1940, Ian McTaggart-Cowan split the species into seven subspecies, with the first three being mountain bighorns and the last four being desert bighorns: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, O. c. canadensis, found from British Columbia to Arizona. Badlands bighorn sheep or Audubon's bighorn sheep, O. c. auduboni, occurred in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Nebraska. This subspecies has been extinct since 1925. California bighorn sheep, O. c. californiana, found from British Columbia south to California and east to North Dakota. The definition of this subspecies has been updated. Nelson's bighorn sheep, O. c. nelsoni, the most common desert bighorn sheep, ranges from California through Arizona. Mexican bighorn sheep, O. c. mexicana, ranges from Arizona and New Mexico south to Sonora and Chihuahua. Peninsular bighorn sheep O. c. cremnobates, occur in the Peninsular Ranges of California and Baja California Weems' bighorn sheep, O. c. weemsi, found in southern Baja California.
Starting in 1993, Ramey and colleagues, using DNA testing, have shown this division into seven subspecies is illusory. Most scientists recognize three subspecies of bighorn; this taxonomy is supported by the most extensive genetics study to date which found high divergence between Rocky Mountain and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, that these two subspecies both diverged from desert bighorn prior to or during the Illinoian glaciation. Thus, the three subspecies of O. canadensis are: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep – occupying the U. S. and Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Northwestern United States. Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep – California bighorn sheep, a genetically distinct subspecies that only occurs in the Sierra Nevada in California. However, historic observer records suggest that bighorn sheep may have ranged as far west as the California Coastal Ranges which are contiguous to the Sierra Nevada via the Transverse Ranges. An account of "wild sheep" in the vicinity of the Mission San Antonio near Jolon and the mountains around San Francisco Bay dates to circa 1769.
Desert bighorn sheep – occurring throughout the desert regions of the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico. The 2016 genetics study suggested more modest divergence of this desert bighorn sheep into three lineages consistent with the earlier work of Cowan: Nelson's, Peninsular; these three lineages occupy desert biomes that vary in climate, suggesting exposure to different selection regimens. In addition, two populations are considered endangered by the United States government: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, Peninsular bighorn sheep, a distinct population segment of desert bighorn sheep Bighorn sheep are named for the large, curved horns borne by the rams. Ewes have horns, but they are shorter with less curvature, they range in color from light brown to grayish or dark, chocolate brown, with a white rump and lining on the backs of all four legs. Males weigh 58–143 kg, are 90–105 cm tall at the shoulder, 1.6–1.85 m long from the nose to the tail. Females are 34–91 kg, 75–90 cm tall, 1.28–1.58 m long.
Male bighorn sheep have large horn cores, enlarged cornual and frontal sinuses, internal bony septa. These adaptations serve to protect the brain by absorbing the impact of clashes. Bighorn sheep have preorbital glands on the anterior corner of each eye, inguinal glands in the groin, pedal glands on each foot. Secretions from these glands may support dominance behaviors. Bighorns from the Rocky Mountains are large, with males that exceed 230 kg and females that exceed 90 kg. In contrast, Sierra Nevada bighorn males weigh up to females to 60 kg. Males' horns can weigh up to 14 kg, as much as the rest of the bones in the male's body; the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep occupy the cooler mountainous regions of Canada and the United States. In contrast, the desert bighorn sheep subspecies are indigeno
A forb is an herbaceous flowering plant, not a graminoid. The term is used in biology and in vegetation ecology in relation to grasslands and understory. "Forb" is derived from the Greek φορβή, "pasture" or "fodder". The spelling "phorb" is sometimes used, in older usage this sometimes includes graminids and other plants not regarded as forbs. Forbs are members of a guild – a group of plant species with broadly similar growth form. In certain contexts in ecology, guild membership may be more important than the taxonomic relationships between organisms. In addition to its use in ecology, the term "forb" may be used for subdividing popular guides to wildflowers, distinguishing them from other categories such as grasses, sedges and trees; some examples of forbs are clover, sunflower and milkweed. Dicotyledon Herbaceous plant Overgrazing United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service link to Growth habits Codes and Definitions
Integrated Taxonomic Information System
The Integrated Taxonomic Information System is an American partnership of federal agencies designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species. ITIS was formed in 1996 as an interagency group within the US federal government, involving several US federal agencies, has now become an international body, with Canadian and Mexican government agencies participating; the database draws from a large community of taxonomic experts. Primary content staff are housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and IT services are provided by a US Geological Survey facility in Denver; the primary focus of ITIS is North American species, but many biological groups exist worldwide and ITIS collaborates with other agencies to increase its global coverage. ITIS provides an automated reference database of common names for species; as of May 2016, it contains over 839,000 scientific names and common names for terrestrial and freshwater taxa from all biological kingdoms.
While the system does focus on North American species at minimum, it includes many species not found in North America among birds, amphibians, bacteria, many reptiles, several plant groups, many invertebrate animal groups. Data presented in ITIS are considered public information, may be distributed and copied, though appropriate citation is requested. ITIS is used as the de facto source of taxonomic data in biodiversity informatics projects. ITIS couples each scientific name with a stable and unique taxonomic serial number as the "common denominator" for accessing information on such issues as invasive species, declining amphibians, migratory birds, fishery stocks, agricultural pests, emerging diseases, it presents the names in a standard classification that contains author, date and bibliographic information related to the names. In addition, common names are available through ITIS in the major official languages of the Americas. ITIS and its international partner, Species 2000, cooperate to annually produce the Catalogue of Life, a checklist and index of the world's species.
The Catalogue of Life's goal was to complete the global checklist of 1.9 million species by 2011. As of May 2012, the Catalogue of Life has reached 1.4 million species—a major milestone in its quest to complete the first up-to-date comprehensive catalogue of all living organisms. ITIS and the Catalogue of Life are core to the Encyclopedia of Life initiative announced May 2007. EOL will be built on various Creative Commons licenses. Of the ~714,000 scientific names in the current database 210,000 were inherited from the database maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the newer material has been checked to higher standards of taxonomic credibility, over half of the original material has been checked and improved to the same standard. Biological taxonomy is not fixed, opinions about the correct status of taxa at all levels, their correct placement, are revised as a result of new research. Many aspects of classification remain a matter of scientific judgment.
The ITIS database is updated to take account of new research. Records within ITIS include information about how far it has been possible to verify them, its information should be checked against other sources where these are available, against the primary research scientific literature where possible. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Park Service NatureServe Smithsonian Institution United States Department of Agriculture United States Environmental Protection Agency United States Geological Survey United States Fish and Wildlife Service Encyclopedia of Life PlantList Wikispecies World Register of Marine Species Integrated Taxonomic Information System Canada Interface: Integrated Taxonomic Information System Mexico Interface: Sistema Integrado de Información Taxonómica Brasil Interface: Sistema Integrado de Informação Taxonômica –
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is an international organisation that focuses on making scientific data on biodiversity available via the Internet using web services. The data are provided by many institutions from around the world. Data available through the GBIF portal are distribution data on plants, animals and microbes for the world, scientific names data; the mission of the Global Biodiversity information Facility is to facilitate free and open access to biodiversity data worldwide to underpin sustainable development. Priorities, with an emphasis on promoting participation and working through partners, include mobilising biodiversity data, developing protocols and standards to ensure scientific integrity and interoperability, building an informatics architecture to allow the interlinking of diverse data types from disparate sources, promoting capacity building and catalysing development of analytical tools for improved decision-making. GBIF strives to form informatics linkages among digital data resources from across the spectrum of biological organisation, from genes to ecosystems, to connect these to issues important to science and sustainability by using georeferencing and GIS tools.
It works in partnership with other international organisations such as the Catalogue of Life partnership, Biodiversity Information Standards, the Consortium for the Barcode of Life, the Encyclopedia of Life, GEOSS. From 2002-2014, GBIF awarded a prestigious global award in the area of biodiversity informatics, the Ebbe Nielsen Prize, valued at €30,000 annually; as at 2018, the GBIF Secretariat presents two annual prizes: the GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge and the Young Researchers Award. ABCD Schema Atlas of Living Australia Australasian Virtual Herbarium Darwin Core Global biodiversity GBIF website Short description of GBIF GBIF network GBIF Data publishers