In lifestyle, the caprids
fall into two broad classes, resource defenders which are territorial
and defend a small, food-rich area against other members of the
same species, and grazers, which gather together into herds and
roam freely over a larger, usually relatively infertile area.
The resource defenders are the more primitive group: they tend
to be smaller in size, dark in colour, males and females fairly
alike, have long, tasselated ears, a long mane, and dagger-shaped
The grazers evolved
more recently. They tend to be larger, highly social, and rather
than mark territory with scent glands, they have highly evolved
dominance behaviours. There is no sharp dividing line between
the groups, just a continuum between the serows at one end of
the spectrum and sheep, true goats, and Musk Oxen at the other.
The ancestors of the modern sheep and goats (both rather
vague and ill-defined terms) are thought to have moved into mountainous
regions: sheep becoming specialised occupants of the foothills
and nearby plains, and relying on flight and clumping for defence
against predators; goats adapting to very steep terrain where
predators are at a disadvantage.
Above Images Come From The National Parks Service