The origin and domestication of cows


Even before our era, domestication of cattle occurred. The ancestor of modern domestic cows was a tour - an extinct as a result of hunting and economic activity of people, a subspecies of a wild bull. When a person no longer faced the problem of taming these animals, then by selecting, keeping and breeding in artificially created conditions, the characteristics and appearance of the animal were changed. So there were various representatives of the cattle.

In what territories was the ancient bull spread and its characteristics

The main habitat of the wild ancestor of the cow was the steppe or forest-steppe zones of the eastern hemisphere. The oldest known fossil remains of wild bulls are found in Europe, Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa. The longest they persisted in Europe.

Researchers identify two types of tours: European and Indian. The first was much more massive than the eastern congener. The growth of adult males at the withers reached two meters. They were muscular giant giants weighing less than a ton with long, slightly curved, sharp horns.

The appearance of the primitive bull differs in many ways from the modern cow.

Cows and young individuals of either sex had a reddish-brown color, and strong and aggressive males were black or black-spotted. Along the ridge there was a wide light strip. The head set high was of a larger and elongated appearance. Wool udder was not given to the side. The ancestors of cattle were long-legged.

The bulls lived either alone or in small groups. For the winter, they migrated to the forests, forming a herd, at the head of which stood a cow. Calves appeared in spring.

History of domestication

The cow is a large domestic dairy animal of a detachment of artiodactyls, the female domestic bull. Etymology defines the name as pan-Slavic, but many Indo-European languages ​​took part in the formation of the word "cow", for example, Latin cornu, which literally means "horned". That is, the origin of the name comes from its appearance.

Advances in animal husbandry with goats, sheep and pigs advanced to the ancient man a new task: how to tame a cow. For the domestication of cows, people used the same "tricks".

Wild, and soon the first tame ones, the tours were used by the Neolithic for meat, milk and hides. With the development of agriculture, the bulls are already a major force. Initially, animal husbandry developed in the north and east of the African continent, as well as in the central part of Asia. In our latitudes, cattle domestication was practiced in the southern territories of Russia.

The effects of crossing

Animals began to give birth. By crossing different species, changes in the conditions of survival appeared mutations that radically changed our understanding of the current cows. Gradually, they began to differ from the wild ancient bull:

  • legs become shorter and denser;
  • decreased overall size;
  • changed the structure and color of wool, undercoat;
  • hearing and sight deteriorated;
  • redistributed adipose tissue;
  • changed muscle mass;

Having learned how to tame a cow, a man began to change his life. People no longer had to hunt. Food was always near them. They developed the necessary qualities in the descendants of animals, depending on their goals. So, in our time, cattle are divided into:

  • Milk - able to produce a large amount of milk;
  • meat - able to produce a large amount of meat;
  • Combined (meat and milk) - has a well developed muscle mass and gives large amounts of milk.

Causes of species extinction

Scientists can not name the exact causes of the disappearance of the population of tours (relatives of cattle). First of all, their number decreased due to intensive deforestation in the IX-XI centuries in Central Europe, from where they were forced to massively move to the banks of the Dnieper. Here they were actively destroyed by dangerous and indecent hunting.

Soon in the territories of the present Poland, Lithuania and Belarus they were taken under protection. The royal forest not far from Warsaw became the last abode of the cattle forebears. Small numbers, isolation and weak genetics made the remaining cows and bulls of this species vulnerable. In 1627, the last individual died from the disease.

Attempts to revive the tour

The revival of the prehistoric animal involved in the Nazi program in Germany, crossing brought from different countries cattle. Unfortunately, all developments have been lost. At the moment, this issue is being addressed by environmental Polish and Dutch organizations. To recreate an extinct bull intend to use the preserved DNA.

These animals are an integral part of the valuable ecosystem of natural grasslands in the countries of Central Europe. Their importance is very important. Even in the modern world it is impossible to imagine life without products manufactured by pastoral enterprises. The domesticated bull and cows had a tremendous impact on the development of humanity.

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