Animal Info Cattle or Cows Place of Origin

About the place of origin of the cow in India, history, ancestors, and classes of cattle.

CATTLE

PLACE OF ORIGIN

Prehistoric cattle originated many millions of years ago in India, and by early Pleistocene times had migrated to Europe, North Africa, and the rest of Asia. Modern cattle are descendants of two species--the wild cattle of Europe (Bos taurus) and the humpbacked cattle of Asia (Bos indicus).

Most of today's domesticated cattle in the Western Hemisphere, Europe, and Australia evolved from two subspecies of the prehistoric Bos taurus--the smallish, short-horned Celtic ox (taurus longifrons) and the massive, long-horned aurochs (taurus primigenius).

Hunted by man throughout the Stone Age, aurochs were immortalized by cave artists as early as 30,000 B.C. and were probably first domesticated about 10,000 B.C. The last aurochs, a cow, died in Poland's Jactorowka Forest in 1627.

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