Ancient DNA is revealing the origins of livestock herding in Africa

Visitors to East Africa are often amazed by massive herds of cattle with a gorgeous array of horn, hump and coat patterns. Pastoralism—a way of life centered around herding—is a central part of many Africans' identity. ...

Germany relaxes rules on wolf culls

The German government on Wednesday relaxed rules on culling wolves, as the population of the predator has grown since its return to the country two decades ago.

Niger to move protected giraffes as habitat shrinks

Part of a group of a rare giraffes that has become a Niger tourist attraction is to be moved to a reserve 600 kilometres (400 miles) away owing to encroaching desert, farmland and increasing instances of them being struck ...

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 ...

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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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