Where Does The Domestic Sheep Come From?


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Rajesh Shri answered
The ubiquitous domestic sheep (Ovis Aries) is considered to have descended from the mouflon sheep found primarily in the south western parts of Asia; the sheep is supposed to have been domesticated in the Neolithic period about 10,000 years ago.

It was introduced in Europe in the later period as a feral species rather than as a domesticated one and subsequently became a valuable animal for its wool and meat. Genetic evidence has determined that the domestic sheep had another ancestor along with the mouflon presumed to have become extinct in later times.

The forbearers of the domestic sheep roamed the region situated in present day Turkey and Iran from where they spread west to the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Rhodes and Cyprus and further north eventually adapting to the different conditions. The urial sheep found in the eastern parts of Iran and South Asia and the argali sheep found in Central Asia are closely related to the domestic sheep.

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