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Family - Bovidae

(Antelopes, Cattle, Gazelles, Goats, Sheep)

The Bovidae family includes antelopes, cattle, gazelles, goats, sheep, and more. They live in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. They are usually found in grasslands, swamps, tropical forests, cliff faces, and mountain ledges. Bovids are herbivores or plant eaters. They have been hunted for meat, sport, and hides. Many species-goat, sheep, cattle, buffalo-have been domesticated are raised for their meat and skin.


The family Bovidae began its revolution in Africa around 19 million years ago. They have about 8 different families of them. The largest bovid, the guar, weighs well over a ton and stand 2 meters high at the shoulder; the smallest, the royal antelope. The bovid family is known through fossils. The largest number of modern bovids is found in Africa.


The Bovidae is the largest family within the Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates). There are 137 different species in the Bovidae. Horns are present in both sexes, those of males are always thicker at the base and more complex. The horns are permanently attached to the frontal bones of the skull. Herd size depends on the species. Gaur, bantengs, and forest buffalo have up to 10 animals. They weigh from 3 kg to 13kg. One kg equals about 2 pounds.


Author: Vance L.

Published: 10/2008


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