Other namesPhotos: European Mouflon
Latin name: Ovis orientalis
size: 1.0 - 1.3m head-hull length
mass: 25 - 50kg
Older: 12 - 18 years
Appearance: black-brown coat
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Grasses, foliage, herbs, mosses
distribution: Europe, Western Asia
original origin: Balkan Peninsula
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight and diurnal
natural enemies: Wolf
sexual maturity: about the age of three
mating season: October - December
gestation: 150 - 160 days
litter size: 1 - 2 kittens
social behavior: Family Association
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the moufflon
- The moufflon or Ovis orientalis describes a wild sheep, which is closely related to the domestic sheep and is regarded as the ancestor of the same.
- The moufflon was already domesticated 10,000 years ago, probably by humans in today's Anatolia.
- Depending on the distribution area, a distinction is made between six species within the mouflon.
- These wild sheep inhabit large parts of Europe and North Africa. However, pure European moufflons, which were not crossed with domestic sheep or other species of wild sheep, are now found only in Sardinia and Corsica.
- There the moufflon lives in rocky and mountainous areas. In other countries, where it was re-naturalized, it is also found in forests of various altitudes.
- Thousands of years ago, moufflons were hunted so hard in many parts of Europe that they were almost eradicated.
- Today, wild moufflons are again widespread in many countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
- Moufflons are hornbearers and, with a shoulder height of no more than eighty centimeters, they are slightly smaller than today's domestic sheep. Depending on the subspecies and gender, they weigh between 25 and 50 kilograms.
- The color of the smooth coat varies depending on the seasons. In summer, the coat appears brown or reddish brown, in winter, however, almost black or gray-brown. In the winter, the males carry a saddleback, which runs from the middle of the back on both sides of the body.
- The most striking feature of the moufflon is the thick, twisted back and spiral horns.
- With adult rams over ten years old, the horns are already long enough to form a snail.
- The horns of the females, however, are either barely present or only a few inches long.
- The moufflon feeds on ruminants of leaves, grasses, herbs, mosses, lichens, tree barks and poisonous plants such as the belladonna.
- The females and their cubs join together in small packs. Only during the rutting season in the fall, the rams also come across.
- After a gestation period of several months, the females in March or April usually give birth to a single, rarely even two lambs, which are nursed for six months.
- The life expectancy of the mouflon is between twelve and eighteen years.