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Starting in the s grazing and rewilding projects brought new impetus to the idea and new breeding-back efforts came underway, this time with the aim of recreating an animal not only with the looks, but also with the behaviour and the ecological impact of the aurochs, to be able to fill the ecological role of the aurochs.

The drive behind reintroduction efforts of the aurochs is largely motivated by a belief that an aesthetically pleasing open park-like landscape is "natural".

Research into the impact of large herbivores on forest growth has concluded that large herbivores are only able to create and maintain an open park-like landscape with the help of man.

The Rewilding Europe foundation advocates for "returning" lands to their "natural state" and believes that, without grazing, everything becomes forest.

Approaches that aim to breed an aurochs-like phenotype do not equate to an aurochs-like genotype. One study proposed that using the mapped out genomes of prehistoric specimens it will be possible to breed back cattle "that are genetically akin to specific original aurochs populations, through selective cross-breeding of local cattle breeds bearing local aurochs-genome ancestry.

In the early s, two German zoo directors in Berlin and Munich , the brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck , began a selective breeding program to breed back the aurochs into existence from the descendant domesticated cattle.

Their plan was based on the concept that a species is not extinct as long as all its genes are still present in a living population.

According to van Vuure, it bears little resemblance to what is known about the appearance of the aurochs. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz , a conservation group in Germany, started to crossbreed Heck cattle with southern-European primitive breeds in , with the goal of increasing the aurochs-likeness of certain Heck cattle herds.

These crossbreeds are called Taurus cattle. It is intended to bring in aurochs-like features that are supposedly missing in Heck cattle using Sayaguesa Cattle and Chianina , and to a lesser extent Spanish Fighting Cattle Lidia.

The program in Hungary also includes Hungarian Grey cattle and Watusi. The modern cattle would be selectively bred to try to produce the aurochs-type genes in a single animal.

Tauros Programme started collaborations with Rewilding Europe [46] [53] and European Wildlife , [54] [55] two European organizations for ecological restoration and rewilding, and now has breeding herds not only in the Netherlands but also in Portugal, Croatia, Romania, and the Czech Republic.

Numerous crossbred calves of the first, second, and third offspring generations have already been born. Another back-breeding effort, the Uruz project, was started in by the True Nature Foundation, an organization for ecological restoration and rewilding.

The project will not use Heck cattle as they have been deemed too genetically dissimilar to the extinct Aurochs, and it will not use any fighting breeds of cattle, because the breeders prefer to create a docile type of cattle.

They plan to return this animal to the forests of Poland. The project has gained the support of the Polish Ministry of the Environment.

They plan research on ancient preserved DNA. The aurochs was an important game animal appearing in both Paleolithic European and Mesopotamian cave paintings , such as those found at Lascaux and Livernon in France.

The front part of the skull had been removed, but the horns remained attached. The supposition is that the killing of the aurochs in this instance was a sacrificial act.

Also during antiquity, the aurochs was regarded as an animal of cultural value. Aurochs are depicted on the Ishtar Gate.

The one of the bulls throws one hunter on the ground while attacking the second with its horns. The cup despite the older perception of being Minoan seems to be Mycenaean.

They survived in the wild in Europe till late in the Roman Empire and in were believed to be occasionally captured and exhibited in shows venationes in Roman amphitheatres such as the colosseum.

These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance, colour, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied.

These the Germans take with much pains in pits and kill them. The young men harden themselves with this exercise, and practice themselves in this sort of hunting, and those who have slain the greatest number of them, having produced the horns in public, to serve as evidence, receive great praise.

But not even when taken very young can they be rendered familiar to men and tamed. The size, shape, and appearance of their horns differ much from the horns of our oxen.

These they anxiously seek after, and bind at the tips with silver, and use as cups at their most sumptuous entertainments. The Hebrew Bible contains numerous references to the untameable strength of the re'em , [77] translated as "bullock" or "wild-ox" in Jewish translations and translated rather poorly in the King James Version as " unicorn ", but recognized from the last century by Hebrew scholars as the aurochs.

When the aurochs became rarer, hunting it became a privilege of the nobility and a sign of a high social status. Schneeberger writes that aurochs were hunted with arrows, nets, and hunting dogs.

With the aurochs immobilized, the curly hair on the forehead was cut from the living animal. Belts were made out of this hair and were believed to increase the fertility of women.

When the aurochs was slaughtered, a cross-like bone os cardis was extracted from the heart. This bone, which is also present in domesticated cattle, contributed to the mystique of the animal and magical powers have been attributed to it.

In eastern Europe, where it survived until nearly years ago, the aurochs has left traces in fixed expressions. In Russia , a drunken person behaving badly was described as "behaving like an aurochs", whereas in Poland, big, strong people were characterized as being "a bloke like an aurochs".

In Central Europe, the aurochs features in toponyms and heraldic coats of arms. For example, the names Ursenbach and Aurach am Hongar are derived from the aurochs.

An aurochs head, the traditional arms of the German region Mecklenburg , figures in the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

An aurochs head is featured on an series of Moldavian stamps, the so-called Bull's Heads cap de bour in Romanian , renowned for their rarity and price among collectors.

In Romania there are still villages named Boureni , after the Romanian word for the aurochs.

It is also present in the emblem of Kaunas , Lithuania, and was part of the emblem of Bukovina during its time as an Austro-Hungarian Kronland.

The Swiss Canton of Uri is named after the aurochs; its yellow flag shows a black aurochs head. Turopolje , a large lowland floodplain south of the Sava River in Croatia , got its name from the aurochs Croatian: tur.

Aurochs is a commonly used symbol in Estonia. The town of Tartu and its ancient name Tarvatu , Tarvato or Tarbatu is likely named after the Estonian word tarvas "aurochs".

The aurochs is nowadays a symbol of Rakvere, with a well known aurochs monument at the Rakvere Castle ruins and several " Rakvere Tarvas " sports clubs.

In , a 3. The sculpture, by artist Tauno Kangro, has become a symbol of the town. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 2 July Not to be confused with European bison.

An extinct species of large wild cattle that inhabited Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Conservation status.

Bojanus , Main article: Heck cattle. Main article: Taurus cattle. Main article: Tauros Programme. Main article: Uruz Project.

See also: Bull mythology. Paleontology portal. Suggestions include the bull moose , the Irish elk , the wild horse , or the Eurasian lynx.

Retrieved 11 January Archived from the original on 20 April Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia : conserved".

Houghton Mifflin , Merriam-Webster, Archives of Natural History. Cis Sofia-Moscow: Pensoft Publishers. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language 2nd ed.

Cambridge University Press. Bibcode : PLoSO Genome Biology. Frontiers in Genetics. Nature Communications.

Bibcode : NatCo Oshu city Cattle Museum : 29— Retrieved 6 April Gunma Mus. National Academies Press. Santos, David A.

Fuller, Hideyuki Mannen, Daniel G. Bradley, and Albano Beja-Pereira. Der Auerochs: Das europäische Rind. Book 6, Ch. New York.

Aurochs and potential crossbreeding with domestic cattle in Central Europe in the Eneolithic period.

Journal of Archaeological Science. Hedges BBC News. Vertebrata PalAsiatica. Archived from the original PDF on 27 September Retrieved 7 January Bibcode : PNAS..

African Archaeological Review. Bibcode : PNAS Retrieved 23 April August Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 32, issue 2.

Retrieved 8 July Thomas P. Open Quaternary. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. The Holocene. Tokee Lite Tokee Street See all Youth Bikes.

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It is directly parallel to the German plural Ochsen singular Ochse and recreates by analogy the same distinction as English ox singular and oxen plural.

During the Pliocene , the colder climate caused an extension of open grassland, which led to the evolution of large grazers, such as wild bovines.

The oldest aurochs remains have been dated to about 2 million years ago, in India. The Indian subspecies was the first to appear.

They reached Europe about , years ago. Domestic yak , gayal , and Bali cattle do not descend from aurochs.

The first complete mitochondrial genome 16, base pairs DNA sequence analysis of Bos primigenius from an archaeologically verified and exceptionally well preserved aurochs bone sample was published in , [10] followed by the publication in of the complete genome sequence of Bos primigenius using DNA isolated from a 6,year-old British aurochs bone.

A DNA study has also suggested that the modern European bison originally developed as a prehistoric cross-breed between the aurochs and the steppe bison.

Three wild subspecies of aurochs are recognised. Only the Eurasian subspecies survived until recent times. The work by Charles Hamilton Smith is a copy of a painting owned by a merchant in Augsburg , which may date to the 16th century.

The aurochs were one of the largest herbivores in postglacial Europe, comparable to the European bison. The size of an aurochs appears to have varied by region; in Europe, northern populations were bigger on average than those from the south.

Because of the massive horns, the frontal bones of aurochs were elongated and broad. The horns of the aurochs were characteristic in size, curvature, and orientation.

They were curved in three directions: upwards and outwards at the base, then swinging forwards and inwards, then inwards and upwards.

The proportions and body shape of the aurochs were strikingly different from many modern cattle breeds. The skull, carrying the large horns, was substantially larger and more elongated than in most cattle breeds.

As in other wild bovines, the body shape of the aurochs was athletic, and especially in bulls, showed a strongly expressed neck and shoulder musculature.

Therefore, the fore hand was larger than the rear, similar to the wisent, but unlike many domesticated cattle. The coat colour of the aurochs can be reconstructed by using historical and contemporary depictions.

In his letter to Conrad Gesner , Anton Schneeberger describes the aurochs, a description that agrees with cave paintings in Lascaux and Chauvet.

Calves were born a chestnut colour. Young bulls changed their coat colour at a few months old to a very deep brown or black, with a white eel stripe running down the spine.

Cows retained the reddish-brown colour. Both sexes had a light-coloured muzzle. Egyptian grave paintings show cattle with a reddish-brown coat colour in both sexes, with a light saddle, but the horn shape of these suggest that they may depict domesticated cattle.

Some primitive cattle breeds display similar coat colours to the aurochs, including the black colour in bulls with a light eel stripe, a pale mouth, and similar sexual dimorphism in colour.

A feature often attributed to the aurochs is blond forehead hairs. Historical descriptions tell that the aurochs had long and curly forehead hair, but none mentions a certain colour for it.

Cis van Vuure says that, although the colour is present in a variety of primitive cattle breeds, it is probably a discolouration that appeared after domestication.

The gene responsible for this feature has not yet been identified. It has not been tested if this gene is present in remains of Indian aurochs.

Like many bovids, aurochs formed herds for at least a part of the year. These probably did not number much more than If aurochs had social behaviour similar to their descendants, social status was gained through displays and fights, in which cows engaged as well as bulls.

Ungulates that form herds containing animals of both sexes, such as horses , have more weakly developed sexual dimorphism.

In autumn, aurochs fed up for the winter and got fatter and shinier than during the rest of the year, according to Schneeberger.

According to Schneeberger, the calf stayed at the cow's side until it was strong enough to join and keep up with the herd on the feeding grounds.

Calves were vulnerable to wolves and, to an extent, bears , while healthy adult aurochs probably did not have to fear these predators. Historical descriptions, like Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico or Schneeberger, tell that aurochs were swift and fast, and could be very aggressive.

According to Schneeberger, aurochs were not concerned when a man approached, but when teased or hunted, an aurochs could get very aggressive and dangerous, and throw the teasing person into the air, as he described in a letter to Gesner.

No consensus exists concerning the habitat of the aurochs. Van Vuure points out that throughout much of the last few thousand years European landscapes probably consisted of dense forests, and as such the aurochs were confined to open areas in marshlands along rivers.

After the beginning of the Common Era , the habitat of aurochs became more fragmented because of the steadily growing human population.

During the last centuries of its existence, the aurochs was limited to remote regions in northeastern Europe. The aurochs, which ranged throughout much of Eurasia and Northern Africa during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene , is the wild ancestor of modern cattle.

Archaeological evidence shows that domestication occurred independently in the Near East and the Indian subcontinent between 10, and 8, years ago, giving rise to the two major domestic subspecies observed today: the humpless taurine cattle European cattle, Bos taurus taurus and the humped indicine cattle Zebu , Bos taurus indicus , respectively.

This is confirmed by genetic analyses of matrilineal mitochondrial DNA sequences, which reveal a marked differentiation between modern B. However, a study examining the remains of domestic taurine cattle from Egypt from the third millennium theorised that sanga cattle was independently domesticated in Africa and that bloodlines of taurine and zebu cattle were introduced only within the last few hundreds years, based on the similarity of the bones.

A number of mitochondrial DNA studies, most recently from the s, suggest that all domesticated taurine cattle originated from about 80 wild female aurochs in the Near East.

Aurochs were independently domesticated in India. Indian zebu, although domesticated eight to 10 thousand years ago, are related to Indian aurochs B.

The Near Eastern B. Aurochs became extinct in Britain during the Bronze Age , and analysis of bones from aurochs that lived about the same time as domesticated cattle has suggested no genetic contribution to modern breeds.

One study has pointed to possible introgression of local aurochs into the " Turano-Mongolian " type of cattle now found in northern China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan, [37] another found small introgression into local Italian breeds, [31] with a later study finding similar results in indigenous British and Irish cattle landraces.

In this last study, researchers mapped the draft genome of a British aurochs dated to 6, years before present and compared it to the genomes of 73 modern cattle populations and found that traditional cattle breeds of Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and English origin — such as Highland, Dexter, Kerry , Welsh Black, and White Park, had more genetic similarity to the aurochs in question than other populations.

By the time of Herodotus 5th century BC , aurochs had disappeared from southern Greece , but remained common in the area north and east of the Echedorus River close to modern Thessaloniki.

Archeological data indicate that they survived in Bulgaria , in the northeastern part of the country and around Sofia, until the 16th - 17th century, [41] in northwestern Transylvania until 14th - 16th century AD and in Romanian Moldavia till probably the beginning of the 17th century AD, almost at the same time as in Poland.

As the population of aurochs declined, hunting ceased altogether. The Polish Royal Family used gamekeepers to provide open fields for grazing for the aurochs, exempting them from local taxes in exchange for their service.

Poaching aurochs was made a crime punishable by death. According to a Polish royal survey in , the gamekeepers knew of 38 animals. The causes of extinction were unrestricted hunting, a narrowing of habitat due to the development of farming, and diseases transmitted by domesticated cattle.

While all the wild subspecies are extinct, B. Starting in the s grazing and rewilding projects brought new impetus to the idea and new breeding-back efforts came underway, this time with the aim of recreating an animal not only with the looks, but also with the behaviour and the ecological impact of the aurochs, to be able to fill the ecological role of the aurochs.

The drive behind reintroduction efforts of the aurochs is largely motivated by a belief that an aesthetically pleasing open park-like landscape is "natural".

Research into the impact of large herbivores on forest growth has concluded that large herbivores are only able to create and maintain an open park-like landscape with the help of man.

The Rewilding Europe foundation advocates for "returning" lands to their "natural state" and believes that, without grazing, everything becomes forest.

Approaches that aim to breed an aurochs-like phenotype do not equate to an aurochs-like genotype. One study proposed that using the mapped out genomes of prehistoric specimens it will be possible to breed back cattle "that are genetically akin to specific original aurochs populations, through selective cross-breeding of local cattle breeds bearing local aurochs-genome ancestry.

In the early s, two German zoo directors in Berlin and Munich , the brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck , began a selective breeding program to breed back the aurochs into existence from the descendant domesticated cattle.

Their plan was based on the concept that a species is not extinct as long as all its genes are still present in a living population.

According to van Vuure, it bears little resemblance to what is known about the appearance of the aurochs. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz , a conservation group in Germany, started to crossbreed Heck cattle with southern-European primitive breeds in , with the goal of increasing the aurochs-likeness of certain Heck cattle herds.

These crossbreeds are called Taurus cattle. It is intended to bring in aurochs-like features that are supposedly missing in Heck cattle using Sayaguesa Cattle and Chianina , and to a lesser extent Spanish Fighting Cattle Lidia.

The program in Hungary also includes Hungarian Grey cattle and Watusi. The modern cattle would be selectively bred to try to produce the aurochs-type genes in a single animal.

Tauros Programme started collaborations with Rewilding Europe [46] [53] and European Wildlife , [54] [55] two European organizations for ecological restoration and rewilding, and now has breeding herds not only in the Netherlands but also in Portugal, Croatia, Romania, and the Czech Republic.

Numerous crossbred calves of the first, second, and third offspring generations have already been born.

Another back-breeding effort, the Uruz project, was started in by the True Nature Foundation, an organization for ecological restoration and rewilding.

The project will not use Heck cattle as they have been deemed too genetically dissimilar to the extinct Aurochs, and it will not use any fighting breeds of cattle, because the breeders prefer to create a docile type of cattle.

They plan to return this animal to the forests of Poland. The project has gained the support of the Polish Ministry of the Environment.

They plan research on ancient preserved DNA. The aurochs was an important game animal appearing in both Paleolithic European and Mesopotamian cave paintings , such as those found at Lascaux and Livernon in France.

The front part of the skull had been removed, but the horns remained attached. The supposition is that the killing of the aurochs in this instance was a sacrificial act.

Also during antiquity, the aurochs was regarded as an animal of cultural value. Aurochs are depicted on the Ishtar Gate.

The one of the bulls throws one hunter on the ground while attacking the second with its horns. The cup despite the older perception of being Minoan seems to be Mycenaean.

They survived in the wild in Europe till late in the Roman Empire and in were believed to be occasionally captured and exhibited in shows venationes in Roman amphitheatres such as the colosseum.

These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance, colour, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied.

These the Germans take with much pains in pits and kill them. The young men harden themselves with this exercise, and practice themselves in this sort of hunting, and those who have slain the greatest number of them, having produced the horns in public, to serve as evidence, receive great praise.

But not even when taken very young can they be rendered familiar to men and tamed. The size, shape, and appearance of their horns differ much from the horns of our oxen.

These they anxiously seek after, and bind at the tips with silver, and use as cups at their most sumptuous entertainments. The Hebrew Bible contains numerous references to the untameable strength of the re'em , [77] translated as "bullock" or "wild-ox" in Jewish translations and translated rather poorly in the King James Version as " unicorn ", but recognized from the last century by Hebrew scholars as the aurochs.

When the aurochs became rarer, hunting it became a privilege of the nobility and a sign of a high social status. Schneeberger writes that aurochs were hunted with arrows, nets, and hunting dogs.

With the aurochs immobilized, the curly hair on the forehead was cut from the living animal. Belts were made out of this hair and were believed to increase the fertility of women.

When the aurochs was slaughtered, a cross-like bone os cardis was extracted from the heart. This bone, which is also present in domesticated cattle, contributed to the mystique of the animal and magical powers have been attributed to it.

In eastern Europe, where it survived until nearly years ago, the aurochs has left traces in fixed expressions. In Russia , a drunken person behaving badly was described as "behaving like an aurochs", whereas in Poland, big, strong people were characterized as being "a bloke like an aurochs".

In Central Europe, the aurochs features in toponyms and heraldic coats of arms. For example, the names Ursenbach and Aurach am Hongar are derived from the aurochs.

An aurochs head, the traditional arms of the German region Mecklenburg , figures in the coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

An aurochs head is featured on an series of Moldavian stamps, the so-called Bull's Heads cap de bour in Romanian , renowned for their rarity and price among collectors.

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