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The domestic sheep (Ovis aries), the most widespread and numerous species of the sheep genus (Ovis), is a ruminant quadruped, in many breeds having a woolly fleece. It is probably descended from the wild mouflon of South Asia and Southwest Asia. Female sheep are referred to as ewes, intact males as rams, castrated males as wethers, yearlings as hoggets, and younger sheep as lambs. In sheep husbandry, a group of sheep is called a flock, or in some areas herd or mob. Sheep meat is called lamb from younger animals, or mutton from older ones. Sheep husbandry has a vast lexicon of terms, which varies considerably with region (see glossary below).

The sheep is related to the goat, both belonging to the goat antelope subfamily Caprinae, itself part of the family Bovidae. However, the genes of sheep and goats differ so greatly that cross-species hybrids rarely occur, and are always infertile. A hybrid of a ewe and a buck is called a sheep-goat hybrid, not to be confused with a geep, which is a genetic chimera.

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Additional Photos by agnieszqa rjobda (agnieszqa) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 38 W: 14 N: 57] (976)
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