Two orthologous linkage groups have been mapped in sheep and deer. Seven loci have been mapped in deer, and 12 in sheep. The sheep linkage group is assigned to ovine chromosome 24. The linkage groups consist of loci from the short arm of human chromosome 16, spanning the region containing the human Batten disease locus, and from human chromosome 7. One locus from the long arm of human chromosome 16 is also present, demonstrating a previously unknown rearrangement between human and ruminant chromosomes. There is no significant difference in marker order and distances between the two linkage groups, implying that this linkage pattern was present in the genome of the common ancestor of the pecora ruminants.