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Capra aegagrus hircus
The domestic goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of goat. Most goats naturally have two horns, of various shapes and sizes depending on the breed. All goats have horns unless they are "polled" meaning they have one parent with a dominant polled gene. Both male and female goats have beards, and many types of goat (most commonly dairy goats, dairy-cross boers, and pygmy goats) may have wattles, one dangling from each side of the neck.
Feral goats occur in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Great Britain, Hawaii, the Galapagos and in many other parts of the world.
Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species. Goats have been used for their milk, meat, hair, and skins over much of the world. In the twentieth century they also gained in popularity as pets.
Spotted on Jan 2, 2010
Submitted on Jun 12, 2011