The Goat (Capra aegagrus) is an even-toed ungulate (hoofed) mammal from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and now common to most countries. It is a bovid, related to sheep.
The Goat has varied coloured fur, but mainly variations of black, brown, grey, and white, with short hair or long, shaggy hair. Both males and females have two horns, and both males and females have a beard. It has dark eyes with horizontal, slit-shaped pupils.
It grows to 48-78 centimetres (19-30 inches) tall.
The Goat lives in a wide range of habitats, and it is especially good at climbing hillsides, mountains, trees, and rocky areas.
The Goat is a ruminant, because it has a special four-chambered stomach that can digest plants. It is a browser, eating a wide variety of plants, leaves, vines, weeds, and roots. It can eat some plants that are poisonous, which kills other animals that feed on them – but the plant toxins have no effect on the goat. Goats also eat a lot of other material, such as cardboard, paper, and cothing.
The Goat is social, living in herds of up to 500 individuals, however males tend to be solitary when it is not breeding season. Male goats are called bucks or billies (i.e. billy goat). Female goats are called does or nannies (i.e. nanny goat). Young goats are called kids.
Females are pregnant for 150-170 days, before giving birth to 1-3 young. The mothers feed their kids on milk from two mammary glands, on their udder, for up to six months. Kids are able to walk soon after birth.
The life expectancy for goats is 12-22 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM