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Any hollow-horned ruminant in the bovid genus Capra. Goats have a lighter build and straighter hair than sheep; their horns arch backward; and the tail is short. Males usually have a beard. Wild goats include the ibex and markhor. Domesticated goats are descended from the pasang, which is probably native to Asia. In China, Great Britain, Europe, and North America, the domestic goat is primarily a milk producer; much of the milk is used to make cheese. Some breeds, notably the Angora and cashmere, are raised for their wool; young goats are the source of kid leather.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on goat, visit Britannica.com.