Description

The aurochs (/ˈɔːrɒks/ or /ˈrɒks/; pl. aurochs, or rarely aurochsen, aurochses), also known as urus or ure (Bos primigenius), is an extinct species of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle; it has also been suggested as an ancestor genetically to the modern European bison, which have been crossbred with steppe bison.[2] The species survived in Europe until 1627, when the last recorded aurochs died in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland.

During the Neolithic Revolution, which occurred during the early Holocene, at least two aurochs domestication events occurred: one related to the Indian subspecies, leading to zebu cattle, and the other one related to the Eurasian subspecies, leading to taurine cattle. Other species of wild bovines were also domesticated, namely the wild water buffalo, gaur, wild yak and banteng. In modern cattle, numerous breeds share characteristics of the aurochs, such as a dark colour in the bulls with a light eel stripe along the back (the cows being lighter), or a typical aurochs-like horn shape.[3]

Date of Extinction

1627

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