Pygmy Goat


ORDER: Artiodactyla

FAMILY: Bovidae

GENUS: Capra

SPECIES: hircus

DESCRIPTION:
Adult pygmy goats are 18" to 20" tall. Their color is grey, black, white or any combination of these colors. The hair is smooth and short. Both sexes have horns; the female's are generally short and straight while the male's are longer and either scimitar-shaped or spiraling; the scimitar shape apparently is the original condition.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Pygmy goats originally came from the Cameroon region of West Africa. Now found as pets in many places.

DIET:
Goats are known for their ability to prosper on poor pasture. They are vegetarians that prefer browse to pasture. To reach high branches they stand on their hind legs.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
The normal issue is two kids after a gestation period of 21-22 weeks. Goats are sexually mature as early as 6 months old. The normal life span is 8 to 12 years.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
They are agile climbers due in part to the hair which grows between their hooves and gives them traction on smooth surfaces.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
Goats were domesticated by man before 7500 B.C. They have developed into animals that do well in areas where cows and sheep could not survive. Standard size goats are raised for their milk and meat. Pygmy goats are hardy and friendly which makes them ideal for display in the Children's Zoo.

OUR ANIMALS:
Several in the Children's Zoo.

STATUS IN WILD:
Not endangered. Maintained only in the domesticated state.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Nowak, Ronald and Paradisio, John. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World, 4th Ed, Vol. II. Johns Hopkins University Press.

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