Ancient livestock dung heaps are now African wildlife hotspots

Often viewed as wild, naturally pristine and endangered by human encroachment, some of the African savannah's most fertile and biologically diverse wildlife hotspots owe their vitality to heaps of dung deposited there over ...

Research documents domestic cattle genetics in modern bison herds

A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports has revealed the strongest evidence to date that all bison in North America carry multiple small, but clearly identifiable, regions of DNA that originated from domestic ...

No rest for new elephant mothers

Elephant herds do not slow down for mothers who've just given birth, according to new research from an international team led by researchers from the University of Oxford, in collaboration with Save the Elephants.

Time ticks away at wild bison genetic diversity

Evidence is mounting that wild North American bison are gradually shedding their genetic diversity across many of the isolated herds overseen by the U.S. government, weakening future resilience against disease and climate ...

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Herd

Herd refers to a social grouping of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic, and also to the form of collective animal behavior associated with this (referred to as herding) or as a verb, to herd, to its control by another species such as humans or dogs.

The term herd is generally applied to mammals, and most particularly to the grazing ungulates that classically display this behaviour. Different terms are used for similar groupings in other species; in the case of birds, for example, the word is flocking, but flock may also be used, in certain instances, for mammals, particularly sheep or goats. A group of quail is often referred to as a covey. Large groups of carnivores are usually called packs, and in nature a herd is classically subject to predation from pack hunters.

Special collective nouns may be used for particular taxa (for example a flock of geese, if not in flight, is sometimes called a gaggle) but for theoretical discussions of behavioural ecology, the generic term herd can be used for all such kinds of assemblage.[citation needed]

The word herd, as a noun, can also refer to one who controls, possesses and has care for such groups of animals when they are domesticated. Examples of herds in this sense include shepherds (who tend to sheep), goatherds (who tend to goats), cowherds (who tend cattle), and others.

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