Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Bos taurus

Synonym(s): European cattle, Bos indicus Linnaeus, Bos primigenius Bojanes

Contributor(s): CABI, Vetstream Ltd,

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Introduction

  • Bos is a genus of cattle of the family Bovidae.
    • This includes buffalo, bison and some wild ruminants.
  • Bos taurus refers to the common domestic cattle of Europe - of which there are many breeds.
  • Feral cattle can be distinguished from domestic stock only by their location and lack of ear marks or tags.
  • Size and conformation vary greatly depending on sex, age and breed.
  • The male is heavier and larger, particularly around the head and neck.
  • The hair is either straight or curly, and ranges from whitish to black with shades and blotches of red, roan, brown or buff.
  • Both sexes can have horns, which are permanent and hollow, and grow throughout life over bony cores projecting from a prominent ridge on the skull.
  • The horns of bulls are usually shorter and thicker than those of cows.

Biological Data

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The history of Bos taurus breeds

  • The ancestors of today's Eurasian breeds of humpless cattle were the "wild aurochs" - large, formidable, long-legged and long-horned beasts - the last of which were hunted to extinction in Poland in 1627.
  • Archaeological evidence suggests that cattle were first domesticated in the Middle East between 6000 and 5000 BC, and spread from there through Africa and Europe.
  • Other early independent centers of domestication included Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.
  • Hundreds of distinct breeds have been produced by artificial selection and transported throughout the world.
  • They are present in all continents, but are least present in French Southern and Antarctic Territories.
  • They are also no longer present in Tuvalu.

Typical Blood parameters

Breed History and Information

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Further Reading

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