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Photo by Sam Carter

Also Called

Lamb (young)

Ewe (female)

Ram (male)


Lamb (from younger animals)

Mutton (from older animals)




Lanolin (wool by product)

Chamois (skin)


Sheep are four-legged animals that live in groups called flocks. They are ruminant herbivores, consuming only vegetation, mostly grass. Sheep have been domesticated by humans for 9-13,000 years for meat and wool, and are one of the first animals domesticated in different parts of the world.

Other than meat, the byproducts of sheep are used for many purposes. Wool was an instrumental element in the evolution of humankind, as it enabled humans to have access to fibers that could be spun into thread and fabric. The grease that comes off of wool is called lanolin, and has many uses, including cosmetics and hair products, The first mammal to be cloned was Dolly, a sheep.


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