On the evolution of the Caprinae



The evolution of the subfamily Caprinae follows much the same pattern as does that of other families whose species are distributed from the tropics to the Arctic (Geist 1971a,b, 1977, 1978a, 1983, 1985a, 1986b). A similar pattern is found in gallinaceous birds (Geist 1977). This very evolutionary analysis indicates that the segregation of rupicaprids from caprids is an artefact. In recent decades we have learned much about ungulates, yet taxonomic models were developed much earlier on the basis of morphological differences that were little understood. We are now gaining that understanding. I hope to show that caprids are an evolutionary progression out of the rupicaprids, and that their differences are a consequence of exploiting open habitats as opposed to those rich in cover, as well as a result of the colonisation of cold, seasonal climates.


Sika Deer Cheek Tooth Bighorn Sheep Social Organ Resource Defence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References and Further Reading

  1. Akasaka, T. (1974) Japanese serow in the wild. Wildlife 16 (10), 452–8Google Scholar
  2. Akasaka, T. (1977) Food habits and feeding behavior of Japanese serow in Nibetsu Akita prefecture. Wildlife Conservation in Japan 67–80Google Scholar
  3. Akasaka, T. and N. Maruyama. (1977) Social organisation and habitat use of Japanese serow in Kasabori. J. Mammal. Soc. Japan 7 (2), 87–102Google Scholar
  4. Alados, C.L. (1985) Group size and composition of the Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica Schinz) in the sierras of Cazorla and Segura. In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of mountain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 134–47Google Scholar
  5. Altmann, D. (1980) Verhalten’s Studien am Mishmi-Takin (Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor Hodgson) im Tierpark, Berlin. Milu, Berlin 5 (3), 342–58Google Scholar
  6. Azzaroli, A. (1982) Insularity and its effects on terrestrial vertebrates: evolutionary and biogeographic aspects. In E.M. Gallitelle (ed.) Paleontology, essentials of historic geology. S.T.E.M. Mucci, Modena (Italy), pp. 193–213Google Scholar
  7. Barrette, C. (1977a). The social behaviour of captive muntjacs Muutiacus reevsi (Ogilby 1839). Z. Tierpsychol. 43, 188–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barrette, C. (1977b) Some aspects of the behaviour of muntjacs in Wilpattu National Park. Mammalia 41, 1–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bartos, L. and J. Zirovnicky. (1981) Hybridisation between red and sika deer. II Phenotype analysis. Zool. Anz. Jena 207, 271–87Google Scholar
  10. Bartos, L. and J. Zirovnicky. (1982) Hybridisation between red and sika deer. III Interspecific behaviour. Zool. Anz. Jena 208, 30–6Google Scholar
  11. Bartos, L., J. Hyanck and J. Zirovnicky. (1981) Hybridisation between red and sika deer. I Craniological analysis. Zool. Anz. Jena 207, 260–70Google Scholar
  12. Bauer, J.J. (1985) Fecundity patterns of stable and colonising chamois populations of New Zealand and Europe. In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of mountain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 154–65Google Scholar
  13. Beninde, J. (1937) Naturgeschichte des Rothirsches. P. Schoeps, Leipzig, 223 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Berger, J. (1986) Wild horses of the Breat Basin. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 326 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Brandburg, S.M. (1955) Mountain goat in Idaho. Wildlife Bull. No. 2. State of Idaho, Dept. of Fish & Game, Boise, Idaho, 142 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Bubenik, A. (1966) Das Geweih. Paul Parey, Berlin. 214 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Bunch, T.D., A. Rogers and W.C. Foote. (1977) G-band and transferrin analysis of audad-goat hybrids. J. Heredity 68, 210–12Google Scholar
  18. Bunch, T., C.F. Nadler and L. Simmons. (1978a) G-band patterns, hemoglobin, and tranferrin types of the bharal. J. Heredity 69, 316–20Google Scholar
  19. Bunch, T.D., T.C. N’guyen and J.J. Lauvergne. (1978b) Hemoglobins of the Corsico-Sardinian mouflon (Ovis musimon) and their implications for the origin of Hb A in domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Ann. Genet. Sel. anima. 10 (4), 503–6Google Scholar
  20. Bunnell, F.L. (1978) Horn growth and population quality in Dall sheep. J. Wildl. Mgmt. 42, 764–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chadwick, D.H. (1977) The influence of mountain goat social relationships on population size and distribution. In W. Samuel and W.G. Macgregor (eds) Proc. 1st International Mountain Goat Symposium. Fish and Wildlife Branch, Province of British Columbia, Victoria, pp. 74–91Google Scholar
  22. Chadwick, Ph. H. (1983) A beast the color of winter. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA., 208 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Churcher, C.S. (1978) Giraffidae. In V.J. Maglio and H.B.X. Cook (eds) Evolution of African mammals. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., pp. 509–535Google Scholar
  24. Churcher, C.S. (1984) Sangamona: the furtive deer. In H.H. Grenoway and M.R. Dawson (eds) Contribution in Quaternary vertebrate palaeontology. Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Special publication No. 8. Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 31631Google Scholar
  25. Clutton-Brock, T.H., F.E. Guinness and S.D. Albon. (1982) Red deer. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 378 pp.Google Scholar
  26. Cowan, I. McT. (1940) Distribution and variation in the native sheep of North America. Am. Midi. Natur. 24 (3), 505–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Davis, S.J.M. (1984) Kirokitia and its mammalian remains. A Neolithic Noah’s ark. Fouilles recent à Khirokitia (Chypre) 1977–1981 (2 tomes). Recherches sur les Civilisations, ParisGoogle Scholar
  28. Dolan, J.M. (1965) Beitrag zur systematischen Gliederung des Tribus Rupicaprini, Simpson 1445. Z. Zool. Syst. Evolutionsforsch. 1 (3–4), 314–407Google Scholar
  29. Ellenberg, H. (1978) Zur Populations Okologie des Rehes (Capreolus cpreolus L. Cervidae). In Mitteleuropa spixiana (Suppl. 2 ), 211 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Elsner-Schack, T. von. (1985) What is good chamois habitat? In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of mountain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 7184Google Scholar
  31. Engelmann, C. (1938) Verber die Grossauger Szetschwan, Sikongs and Osttibet. Z. Säugetierkunde 13, Sonderheft, 76 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Estes, R. (1974) Social organisation of the African Bovidae. In V. Geist and F. Walther (eds) The behaviour of ungulates and its relation to management. IUCN Publ. (New Sciences) No. 24, Vol. 1, pp. 166–205Google Scholar
  33. Francisi, F., S. Focardi and L. Boitana. (1985) Male and female alpine ibex: phenology of space use and herd size. In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of moutain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 124–33Google Scholar
  34. Geist, V. (1965) On the rutting behaviour of mountain goat. J. Mammal. 45, 551–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Geist, V. (1966) On the evolution of horn-like organs. Behaviour 27, 177–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Geist, V. (1967) On fighting injuries and dermal shields of mountain goats. J. Wildl. Mgmt 31, 192–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Geist, V. (1971a) Mountain sheep. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 383 pp.Google Scholar
  38. Geist, V. (197lb) The relation of social evolution and dispersal in ungulates during the Pleistocene, with emphasis on the Old World deer and the genus Bison. Quat. Res. 1, 285–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Geist, V. (1974a) On the relation of ecology and behaviour in the evolution of ungulates: theoretical considerations. In V. Geist and F. Walther (eds) The behaviour of ungulates and its relation to management. IUCN Publications. No. 24, Vol 1, 235–46Google Scholar
  40. Geist, V. (1974b) On the relationship of social evolution and ecology in ungulates. Am. Zool. 14, 205–20Google Scholar
  41. Geist, V. (1977) A comparison of social adaptation in relation to ecology in gallinaceous bird and ungulate societies. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Systematics 8, 193–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Geist, V. (1978a) Life strategies, human evolution, environmental design. Springer, New York, 495 pp.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Geist, V. (1978b) On weapons, combat and ecology. In L. Krames, P. Pliner and T. Alloway (eds) Aggression, dominance and individual spacing. Plenum, New York, pp. 1–30Google Scholar
  44. Geist, V. (1981) On reproductive strategies in ungulates and some problems of adaptation. In G.G.E. Scudder and J.L. Reveal (eds) Evolution today. (Proc. 2nd Int. Congr. Systematics and Evolutionary Biology.)Google Scholar
  45. Geist, V. (1982) Adaptive strategies. In J.W. Thomas and D.E. Toweill (eds) Elk of North America. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA, pp. 219–77Google Scholar
  46. Geist, V. (1983) On the evolution of Ice Age mammals and its significance to an understanding of speciation. ASB Bull. 30, 109–33Google Scholar
  47. Geist, V. (1985a) On Pleistocene bighorn sheep: some problems of adaptation, and relevance to today’s megafauna. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 13, 351–9Google Scholar
  48. Geist, V. (1985b) On evolutionary patterns in the Caprinae with comments on the punctuated mode of evolution, gradualism and a general model of mammalian evolution. In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of mountain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 15–30Google Scholar
  49. Geist, V. (1986a) The paradox of the Great Irish Stags. Nat. Hist. 95 (3), 54–64Google Scholar
  50. Geist, V. (1986b) On the evolution and adaptation of Alces. Viltrevy (in press)Google Scholar
  51. Geist, V. (1987) On speciation in ice age mammals. Can. J. Zool. 65,(in press)Google Scholar
  52. Geist, V. and R. Petocz. (1977) Bighorn sheep in winter: do rams maximise reproductive fitness by spatial and habitat segregation from ewes? Can. J. Zool. 55, 1802–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Goldschmidt, R. (1940) The material basis of evolution. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 436 pp.Google Scholar
  54. Gottschlich, J.H. (1965) Biotop und Wuchsform: eine Craniometrische Studie an Europaeischen Populationen von Cervus elaphus. Beitrag zur Jagd und Wild-forsch. 4, 83–101Google Scholar
  55. Gray, D. (1974) The defence formation of the musk-ox. The Musk-ox. Inst. North. Studies, Univ. Sask. 14, 25–9Google Scholar
  56. Groves, C.P. and P. Grubb (1985) Reclassification of serow and goral. In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of mountain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 45–50Google Scholar
  57. Guthrie, R.D. (1984) Mosaics, allelochemics and nutrients (an ecological theory of late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions). In P.S. Martin and S. Klein (eds) Quaternary Extinctions. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Ariz., pp. 259–98Google Scholar
  58. Halternorth, T. (1961) Lebensraum, Lebensweise und Vorkommen des Mesopotamischen Damhirsches, Cervus mesopotamicus,Brooke, 1875. Säugetierkundl. Mitt. 9,(1), 15–39Google Scholar
  59. Hamilton, W.J. III. (1973) Life’s colour code. McGraw Hill, New York, 238 pp.Google Scholar
  60. Hamilton, W.J. III, R.L. Tilson and L.G. Frank. (1986) Sexual monomorphism in spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Ethology 71, 63–73Google Scholar
  61. Hamilton, W.R. (1973) The lower Miocene ruminants of Gebel Zelten, Libya. Bull. British Museum (Nat. Hist.) Geology. 21, (3), 150 pp.Google Scholar
  62. Hammond, J. (1960) Farm animals (4th edn 1971). Edward Arnold, London 293 pp.Google Scholar
  63. Heptner, V.G., A.A. Nasimovic and A.G. Bannikov. (1961) Die Saugetiere der Sowjetunion. V.E.B. Gustav Fischer edition 1966. Jena, 939 pp.Google Scholar
  64. Hibbs, D.L. (1967) Foodhabits of mountain goat in Colorado. J. Mammal. 48 (2), 242–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Hight, M.E. and C.F. Nadler. (1976) Relationships between wild sheep and goats and the audad (Caprinae) studied by immunodiffusion. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 54B, 265–9Google Scholar
  66. Hofer, H. (1972) Prolegomena primatologia. In H. Hofer and G. Altner (eds) Die Sonderstellung des Menschen. G. Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart, pp. 113–48Google Scholar
  67. Hofmann, R.R. (1973) The ruminant stomach. East Afr. Monogr. Biol. 2, 354 pp.Google Scholar
  68. Hofmann, R.S. (submitted) Paper delivered at Theriological Congress, Edmonton, August 1985. To be publishedGoogle Scholar
  69. Hornocker, M.G. (1970) An analysis of mountain lion predation upon mule deer and elk in Idaho. Wildl. Monogr. No. 21, 39 pp.Google Scholar
  70. Ingebrigtsen, O. (1923) Das Norwegische Rotwild (Cervus elaphus L.). Mitteilungen Zool. Abteilung, Museum zu Bergen, Bergen 242 pp.Google Scholar
  71. James, F.C. (1983) Environmental components of morphological differentiation in birds. Science 211, 184–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Kishimoto, R. (1981) Behavior and spatial organisation of the Japanese Serow. MSc. thesis, Osaka University, Osaka, 59 pp.Google Scholar
  73. Knaus, W. and W. Schroeder. (1983) Das Gamswild ( 3rd edn ). Paul Parey, Berlin, 232 pp.Google Scholar
  74. Korobitsyna, K.V., C.F. Nadler, N.N. Vorontsov and R.S. Hoffman. (1974) Chromosomes of Siberian snow sheep, Ovis nivicola, and implications concerning the origin of Amphiberingian wild sheep (subgenus Pachyceros). Quart. Res. 4, 235–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Kramer, A. (1969) Soziale Organisation und Sozialverhalten einer Gemspopulation (Rupicapra rupicapra L.) der Alpen. Z. TierpsychoL 26, 889–964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Kuck, L. (1977) The impact of hunting on Idaho’s Phasimore mountain goat herd. In W. Samuel and W.G. Macgregor (eds) Proc. 1st International Mountain Goat Symposium. Fish and Wildlife Branch, Province of British Columbia, Victoria, pp. 114–25Google Scholar
  77. Kurten, B. (1968) Pleistocene mammals of Europe. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 317 pp.Google Scholar
  78. Kurten, B. and E. Anderson. (1980) Pleistocene mammals of North America. Columbia University Press, New York, 442 pp.Google Scholar
  79. Lay, D.M., C.F. Nadler and J. D. Hassinger. (1971) The transferrins and hemoglobins of wild Iranian sheep (Ovis linnaeus). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 40B, 521–9Google Scholar
  80. Lovari, S. (1985) (ed.) The biology and management of mountain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, 271 pp.Google Scholar
  81. Lovari, S. and C. Scala. (1980) Revision of Rupicapra genus I. A statistical reevaluation of Coutourie’s data on the morphometry of six chamois species. Bull. Zool. 47, 113–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Margalef, R. (1963) On certain unifying principles in ecology. Am. Natur. 97, 357–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Masini, F. (1985) Würmian and Holocene chamois of Italy. In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of mountain úngulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 31–44Google Scholar
  84. Mayr, E. (1966) Animal species and evolution. Balknap/Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 796 pp.Google Scholar
  85. Meunier, K. (1984) Der Spanische Hirsch, ein sehr altes Eiszeitrelikt. Jagd und Hege 16 (3), 9–12Google Scholar
  86. Nadler, C.F. and T.D. Bunch. (1977) G-band patterns of the Siberian snow sheep (O vis nivicola) and their relationship to chromosomal evolution in sheep. Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 19, 108–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Nadler, C.F., R.S. Hoffmann and A. Woolf. (1973) G-band patterns as chromosomal markers, and the interpretation of chromosomal evolution in wild sheep (Ovis). Experientia 29, 117–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Nadler, C.F., R.S. Hoffmann and A. Woolf. (1974) G-band patterns, chromosomal homologies, and evolutionary relationships among wild sheep, goat and audads (Mammalia, Artiodactyla). Experientia 30, 744–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Nascetti, G., S. Lovari, P. Lanfranchi, c. Berducou, S. Mattiocci, L. Rossi and L. Bullini. (1985) Revision of Rupicapra genus 3. Electrophoretic studies demonstrating species distinction of chamois population of the Alps from those of the Appennines and Pyrenees. In S. Lovari (ed.) The biology and management of mountain ungulates. Croom Helm, London, pp. 56–62Google Scholar
  90. Nievergelt, B. (1981) Ibex in an African environment. Springer, Berlin, 189 pp.Google Scholar
  91. Packard, J.M. and L.D. Mech. (1983) Population regulation in wolves. In F.L. Bunnell, D.S. Eastman and J.M. Peek (eds) Natural regulation of wildlife populations. Forest, Wildl. and Range Exp. Station. Proj. No. 14. Univ. Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, pp. 151–74Google Scholar
  92. Pedersen, A. (1958) Der Moschusochs, Neue Brehm-Bücherei, Nr. 215. Wittenberg, Lutherstadt, 34 pp.Google Scholar
  93. Petzsch, H. (1956) Reflexionen zur Phylogenie der Capridae im allgemeinen und der Hausziege im besonderen. Wissenschaftliche Zs. Martin Luther Univ., Halle-Wittenberg 6 (6), 995–1019Google Scholar
  94. Pfeffer, P. (1967) Le mouflon de Corse (Ovis ammon musimon Schreber, 1982); position systematique, écologie et éthologie comparées. Mammalia 31 (Supplement) 262 pp.Google Scholar
  95. Sakurai, M. (1981) Socio-ecological study of Japanese serow Capricornis crisp us (Temminck). (Mammalia: Bovidae) with reference to flexibility of its social structure. Ecol. Physiol. Japan. 18, 163–212Google Scholar
  96. Scala, C. and S. Lovari. (1984) Revision of Rupicapra genus 2. A skull and horn statistical comparison of Rupicapra rupicapra ornata and R. rupicapra pyrenaica chamois. Bull. Zool. 51, 285–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Schaller, G. (1977) Mountain Monarchs. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 425 pp.Google Scholar
  98. Schmitt, J. (1963) Ammotragus lervia Pallas, Mahnenschaf oder Mahnenziege? Z. Saugetierkunde 28, 7–12Google Scholar
  99. Schroder, W. (1971) Untersuchungen zur Ökologie des Gamswildes (Rupicapra rupicapra L.) in einem Vorkommender Alpen. Teil I. Z. Jagdwissenschaft 17 (3), 113–68; Teil I, 17 (4), 197–235Google Scholar
  100. Scott, W.B. (1937) A history of land mammals in the western hemisphere. Hafner, New York, 786 pp.Google Scholar
  101. Shackleton, D.M. (1973) Population quality and bighorn sheep. PhD Thesis., University of Calgary, 227 pp.Google Scholar
  102. Shank, C.C. (1972) Some aspects of social behaviour in a population of feral goats (Capra hirrus L.). Z. Tierpsychol., 30, 488–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Shank, C.C. (1979) Sex dimorphism in the ecology of bighorns. PhD Thesis, University of Calgary, 193 pp.Google Scholar
  104. Shank, C.C. (1982) Age-sex differences in the diet of wintering Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Ecology 63 (3), 627–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Suzuki, K, and S. Takatsuki. (1986) Winter food habits and sexual monomorphism in Japanese serow. Biological Institute, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, 980, Japan, 8 pp.Google Scholar
  106. Szunyoghy, J. (1963) Das Ungarische Rotwild Muzeumok Rotauemeben, Budapest, 193 pp.Google Scholar
  107. Thenius, E. (1969) Stammesgeschichte der Saugetiere. Handb. ZooL 8, 1–722Google Scholar
  108. Thenius, E. and H. Hofer. (1960) Stammesgeschichte der Saugetiere. Springer, Berlin, 322 pp.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Thompson, D’Arcy. (1961) On growth and form (abridged, J.T. Bonner). Cambridge University Press, London, 345 pp.Google Scholar
  110. Treisman, M. (1975) Predation and the evolution of gregariousness. Anim. Behay. 23, 779–800; 801–25Google Scholar
  111. Valdez, R. (1982) The wild sheep of the world. Wild Sheep and Goat International. Mesilla, New Mexico, 186 pp.Google Scholar
  112. Valdez, R., C.F. Nadler and T.D. Bunch. (1978) Evolution of wild sheep in Iran. Evolution 32, 56–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. Vogt, F. (1936) Neue Wege der Hege. Verlag Neumann, Neudamm, 165 pp.Google Scholar
  114. Vogt, F. (1948) Das Rotwild. Oesterreichischer Jagd und Fischerei Verlag, Vienna, 207 pp.Google Scholar
  115. Vogt, F. and F. Schmidt. (1951) Das Rehwild. Oesterreichischer Jagd und Fischerei Verlag, Vienna, 111 pp.Google Scholar
  116. Vorreyer, F. (1978) In F. von Raesfeld and F. Vorreyer (eds) Das Rotwild (8th edn). Paul Parey Verlag, Berlin, 397 pp.Google Scholar
  117. Vrba, E.S. (1980) Evolution, speciation and fossils: how does life evolve? S. Afr. J. Sci. 76, 61–84Google Scholar
  118. Wagenknecht, E. (1981) Rotwild. Verlag. J. Neumann-Neudamon, Berlin, 484 pp.Google Scholar
  119. Watson, K. and R. Moss. (1972) A current model of population dynamics in red grouse. Proc. 15th Int. Ornithological Congress. Brill, Leiden pp. 134–49Google Scholar
  120. Wilson, E.O. (1975) Sociobiology. Belknap/Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 697 pp.Google Scholar
  121. Wilson, M. (1980) Morphological dating of Late Quaternary bison on the northern plains. Can. J. Anthropol. 1, 81–5Google Scholar
  122. Yamomoto, S. (1966) Breeding Japanese serow in captivity. Int. Zoo Yrbk 7, 174–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  123. Zuh-Ming, D. (1961) The Formosan serow (Capricornis swinhoi, Gray). Quart. J. Taiwan Museum 16, 97–100.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hiroaki Soma 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental DesignUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations