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African Ram

African Ram
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-08-28
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Minolta Dimage Z1
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Johannesburg Zoo
Date Submitted: 2004-09-13 9:29
Viewed: 10171
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia)

Also known as: Aoudad (pronounced "aOO-dad" or "OW-dad") is the name for this sheep used by the Berbers, a North African tribe. Ammos (Greek) sand; tragos (Greek) a goat: referring to the sand-coloured coat. Lervia, from the wild sheep of northern Africa described as "Lerwee".

The Barbary sheep is the only wild sheep indigenous to Africa. It inhabits rough, rocky, barren and waterless tracts where it grazes on grasses, herbaceous plants and stunted bushes. Not all species fall into neat and well defined categories. The sub-family Caprinae contains several species, including the Barbary sheep, which is intermediate between sheep and goats.

General Characteristics
Body Length: 130-165 cm / 4.3-5.5 ft, Shoulder Height: 75-110 cm / 2.5-3.7 ft, Weight: 30-145 kg / 66-319 lb.

The short, bristly outer coat is reddish to sandy brown in colour. The underparts are moderately lighter. Both sexes have a heavy fringe of hair on their throat, although in males this extends down the neck to encompass the chest and front legs. The tail is also fringed. The body is quite thick and sturdy. The thick, triangular-based horns are found in both sexes, although they are slightly larger in males. The horns have numerous fine rings, although in older individuals these may be worn down, causing the horn surface to look smooth. They curve in a semi-circle over the back, up to 55 cm / 22 inches.

Ontogeny and Reproduction
Gestation Period: 160 days, Young per Birth: 1, rarely up to 3, Weaning: At 3-4 months, Sexual Maturity: After 18 months, Life span: 20 years.

Conservation Status
The aoudad is classified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN (1996). A. l. ornatus, the Egyptian barbary sheep, is believed to be extinct. Although this sheep is becoming more and more difficult to find in its native North Africa, introduced populations in Spain and the southern United States are flourishing. Indeed, they have become so prosperous in America that it is feared they may start infringing on the habitat and resources of the indigenous desert bighorn sheep.

mogens-j, Jax, jhm, carper, RAP, Callie, japie, Lourens, PDP, Robbrown, extramundi, alainh, TAZ, danbachmann has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Robbrown: Eagle eyesgerhardt 2 09-13 18:14
To Callie: Family mattersgerhardt 1 09-13 15:10
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Critiques [Translate]

Hm, looks more like a goat with a skirt to me Gerhard - but I can see from your note that it is some kind of mix between goat and sheep. Strange looking creature.

Very good capture with natural colours, good dof and sharpness. The cropping makes a very good composition with the animal looking into the picture - well done. Very informative note.

  • Great 
  • Jax Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 77 W: 0 N: 150] (500)
  • [2004-09-13 11:40]

Good shot - great colours and dof, it's almost like he posed for you. Well done.

Very nice Gerhard.
They look very funny.
Very nice colours , good DOF and good details.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2004-09-13 12:14]

Wauw Gerhard,
What a long beard, of baard. I have never see this goat before. Misschien dat ik er bij ons op de Voorstraat 1 zag lopen. Fun. Nee, good composition, good colours and an exelent note, great job Gerhard.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2004-09-13 12:14]

Very informative note, Gerhard, excellent moment for make this photo, he look in the camera, good composition and nice colours.

Excellent shot and very informative note Gerhard.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-09-13 14:23]

Buena perspectiva, agradables tonos, atinado DOF y nota muy completa.

Good perspective, pleasant tones, accurate DOF and very complete note.

En hy kyk jou sooo, met verlepte oŽ, en hy lees jou soos 'n boek! [Ruben Lenox]
Baie mooi Gerhard, love the dainty "on your toes pose". Just do let his tailor near me! Are these guys family to the exotic Thars on Table Mountain - The latin name looks similar, but they they are more goatlike. Just wondering ?
Like this guy, he has attitude

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-09-13 15:04]

Te veel hare om famielie Nataniel te wees! Beautiful setting and pose, captured with excellent DOF and colour. Hy het sulke regte Felicia ogies. Groetnis

Very nice,Gerhard. Good detail and it seems as if the critter is giving the camera a smile!!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-09-13 15:21]

What a shaggy looking beast. I like Mogens summation, a goat with a skirt is a very good description. Good pose and lovely earthy tones. Note is top notch as usual, ewe always get it right.

Hi gerhard great note about this amazing animal, great capture the image looks to be sharp,and the pose is spot on, but it looks on my screen to be covered in multicoloured dots, its almost as though its been enlargered a bit too far so that some of the pixels are starting to show?.it might just be my screen

bonsoir Gerhart.
note excellente et photo superbe.
j'aime beaucoup

Gerhard, Interesting looking beast. To me, the horns are the single element that give this Barbary Sheep a unique look. Looks as if it would be in trouble if it tried to do any rubber-necking on the highway! ;-))

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2004-09-14 13:23]

Quel animal surprenant ! Belle comosition aux couleurs agrťables, bonne PdC. Et une note instructive.
Well done !

We are getting more and more great shots on this site which are technically excellent, but ones that have a sensitivy of a place are the art form I really enjoy looking it as well as the learning aspect. Your image gives a sense of the environment and that's what I really like about it. Photographically, I think it would be better if some of the branches on the left were cropped off as they are mildly distracting and don't balance well with the ram's stance

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