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Subordination : Ruminants (ruminantia)
without rank: Forehead weapon bearer (Pecora)
Family : Horned Bearers (Bovidae)
Subfamily : Bovinae
Genre : Real cattle ( Bos )
Type : zebu
Scientific name
Bos indicus
Linnaeus , 1758
Zebu on bronze coin from the Pisidic city of Termessos , 71–39 BC Chr.

The zebu or humpback cattle ( Bos indicus ) is a domestic cattle domesticated in the Indian subcontinent , which is mainly kept in tropical and subtropical climates .

It is much better adapted to the local climate than European ("taurine") domestic cattle breeds. In Africa , many domestic cattle breeds are the result of crosses between zebus and taurine cattle. Since the 20th century, in other parts of the world with a tropical climate, zebus have been crossed with taurine cattle breeds in order to take advantage of their heat tolerance and disease resistance . Original zebu breeds give little milk and grow more slowly than taurine breeds. One of the earliest representations of a zebus on coins comes from the Pisidian city ​​of Termessos from the first century BC. The illustration shows that zebu cattle were seen as typical of this city at the turn of the ages.

Zebus are descended from a different subspecies of aurochs than taurine cattle. According to some experts, the original form of the zebus could represent its own species ( Bos namadicus ) alongside the aurochs. Genetic studies show that today's domestic cattle do not belong to one tribe, as was long believed, but are descended from two different lines. Both forms seem to have separated in the wild about 600,000 years ago.

Domestic cattle breeds that are zebus:

Domestic cattle breeds that go back to crossbreeding with zebus:


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Eva Szaivert and Wolfgang Szaivert: Greek coin catalog, volume 2. Munich 1983, p. 235, no. 5612
  2. DE MacHugh, MD Shriver, RT Loftus, P. Cunningham and DG Bradley: Microsatellite DNA Variation and the Evolution, Domestication and Phylogeography of Taurine and Zebu Cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus). Genetics 146, 1997, pp. 1071-1086 [1]

Web links

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