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Mouflon, it is believed, are the ancestors of all modern domesticated sheep. The two remaining types of wild mouflon are the Asiatic Mouflon (Ovis orientalis) and the European Mouflon (Ovis musimon). The Asiatic variety can be found in the mountainous regions of Asia Minor and southern Iran, while the European mouflon is found in the wild only on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, although there have been a few successful attempts at introducing this species into central Europe. Mouflon are generally brown in colour, though the Asiatic mouflon tend to be redder in comparison. The males of both species have horns, though the configuration of these horns varies between the two species. Female mouflon sometimes do develop horns, but this is a rarity. There are some theories put forward that the European mouflon actually developed from early European domestic sheep, once they were allowed to become feral1, and that the Asiatic mouflon is the origin of all modern sheep breeds.

Other Mouflon

Aside from the Asiatic and European mouflon, there are lesser known species, such as the Cyprian mouflon, found only in the island of Cyprus, and the Armenian mouflon. The Cyprian mouflon is endangered, and while hunting the more common European and Asiatic types is allowed, hunting Cyprian mouflon is prohibited. Cyprian and Armenian mouflon can be told apart from the others by their supercervical horns2.

1That is to say, untamed and wild.2These are horns that often sweep back round the neck of the animal.

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