GeoChemBio.com/biology/organisms/cattle

 

Domestic milk cow
Cow face

Please help keeping these websites open for everybody as long as possible

 

Bos taurus, cattle, cow

Download this page in pdf format (can be old)
Print

More about cattle at GeoChemBio

 
 
Back to top Nemose
 
 

Taxonomy

Cattle belong to an ancient and diverse group of mammals, Cetartiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, includes whales, hippos, ruminants, pigs, camels etc.) that first appeared around 60 million years ago. The two principal taxonomic groups of domestic cattle, Bos taurus (taurine cattle) and Bos indicus (zebu cattle) diverged from a common ancestor 250,000 years ago, and have had been associated with human civilization since Neolithic times 8,000–10,000 years ago. All modern cattle breeds originate from large populations of the ancestral aurochs (Bos taurus primigenius).

Back to top Nemose

Burt DW. The cattle genome reveals its secrets. J Biol. 2009; 8(4): 36. (BioMed Central Open Access license)

Bovinae diversity

Bovinae have diverged into (a) cattle (b) antelope and (c) buffalo over a relatively short time period. (a) shows a domesticated cow (Bos taurus) (photograph by Daniel Schwen, Wikipedia), (b) is the Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx) (Ablestock) and (c) is a Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) (Ablestock).

Bovinae diversity

A phylogeny using unambiguous sites in the Bovinae results in three main groups: cattle, bison (a) and sister group, yak (b) and banteng (c). (a) shows North American Bison (Bison bison), (b) Yak (Bos grunniens) and (c) Banteng (Bos javanicus). All photographs are from Ablestock.

Taxonomic lineage of Bos taurus

cellular organisms - Eukaryota - Fungi/Metazoa group - Metazoa - Eumetazoa - Bilateria - Coelomata - Deuterostomia - Chordata - Craniata - Vertebrata - Gnathostomata - Teleostomi - Euteleostomi - Sarcopterygii - Tetrapoda - Amniota - Mammalia - Theria - Eutheria - Laurasiatheria - Cetartiodactyla - Ruminantia - Pecora - Bovidae - Bovinae - Bos - Bos taurus

 
 
 

Back to top
Nemose

 
 

General description

Importance of bovine genome

 
 
Back to top Nemose
 
 

Digestive system

 
 
Back to top Nemose
 

Cow digestive system diagram

 
 
Back to top Nemose
 
 

Some cattle species

 
 
 

Cattle species

 
 

Cattle domestication

 
 
 

Cattle domestication diagram

Back to top
Nemose

Back to top
Nemose

Photo gallery

Resting cows
Three cows resting
Brahman
Brahman cattle
Juvenile bison
Juvenile bizon
Mother and child (1-2 day old calf)
Cows, cattle, domestic cow
Zebu, Mbane, Senegal
Zebu, Senegal
Photo credit: Huyse T et al. PLoS Pathog. 2009 Sep;5(9):e1000571. Epub 2009 Sep 4. (PMID: 19730700)
Why cows are sacred in Hinduism? Cow and Proud Owner in Dacca, Bangladesh
Sacred cow, Bangladesh
Photo credit: Dobson A et al. PLoS Med. 2006 Jun;3(6):e231.(PMID: 16729846)

We do not know exactly why cows are sacred in parts of India. They have been considered sacred since the Aryans invasion in the 2nd century, B.C. However, many taboos reflect cultural selection for activities that reduce disease risk. A variety of historical papers have suggested that sleeping in close proximity to livestock may decrease the rate at which mosquitoes bite humans, and thus reduce the likelihood of infection with malaria and other vector-borne pathogens (the phenomenon was termed zooprophylaxis). Active zooprophylaxis was undertaken when cattle were deliberately used as a barrier between mosquito breeding sites and human settlement; it was probably most widely used in Soviet collective agriculture and is being used in Tanzania today.

 
 

More about cattle at GeoChemBio


 
Back to top Nemose

Prints, posters, mugs and other drinkware as well as various bags and even throw pillows with portraits of beautiful cows are available at GeoChemBio shop

Mix and match to create your drinkware sets, to decorate your room or to make an original gift!

Cow first Cow second Cow third
Cow fourth Cow fifth Cow sixth

References

Websites

Back to top Nemose