Miller and Roper: "there are sheep native to America. The most common type is the Mountain Sheep, Ovis canadensis"

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Miller and Roper: "there are sheep native to America. The most common type is the Mountain Sheep, Ovis canadensis"

Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper: [1]

Sheep were probably among the animals brought to America by the Jaredites, although they were not stated explicitly by name (Ether 6:4). They most likely are to be included in the term “flocks,” and are mentioned by name in Ether ( 9:18) several generations later. Sheep have been useful to man for many centuries and were probably man’s first domesticated animal [2] (along with the dog). They are useful for both food and clothing. In addition to Old World sheep, apparently brought to the New World by the Jaredites, there are sheep native to America. The most common type is the Mountain Sheep, Ovis canadensis. Their current geographic range extends south only to northern Mexico. However, their past range was more extensive, as was their habitat before human settlements expanded. [3] They are an animal that can be tamed or at least semi-domesticated. According to Geist , “It is hard to imagine a wild animal more readily tamed than mountain sheep.” [4] Sorenson noted the apparent recovery of sheep wool from a pre-Columbian burial site near Puebla (southeast of Mexico City). [5] Petroglyphs from Mexico and the southwestern United States show many prehistoric depictions of sheep. It appears certain that the association of sheep and man occurred in America before this animal was brought over beginning in 1493 with Columbus’ second voyage.

Notes

  1. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  2. C. Radulesco and P. Samson, Sur un centre de domestication du mouton dans le Mesolithique de grotte “La Adam, en Dobrogea,” Tierzüchlung und Züchtungsbiologic 76 (1962), 282-320.
  3. E. Raymond Hall and Keith R. Kelson, The Mammals of North America,” (New York, Ronald Press, 1959).1
  4. Valerius Geist, “Mountain Sheep: A Study in Behavior and Evolution,” (Chicago and London: University of Chicago press, 1971), 41.
  5. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, (Salt Lake City, Deseret Book, 1985), 296-97.