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Temporal range: Miocene to Recent
Buffalo Bull (Syncerus caffer) (11838910043).jpg
African buffalo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
(unranked) Ruminantiamorpha
Suborder: Ruminantia
Infraorder: Pecora
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Gray, 1821


The biological subfamily Bovinae includes a diverse group of 10 genera of medium to large-sized ungulates, including domestic cattle, bison, African buffalo, the water buffalo, the yak, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is obscure, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal subgroups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include cloven hoofs and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns. The largest extant bovine is the gaur.

In most countries, bovids are used for food. Cattle are eaten almost everywhere, but in parts of India and Nepal they are considered sacred by most Hindus.

Systematics and classification[edit]


Bovine is derived from Latin bos, "ox", through Late Latin bovinus. Bos comes from the Indo-European root *gwous, meaning ox.

See also[edit]


  • International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (2003) Opinion 2027 (Case 3010). Usage of 17ΔбГ specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia): conserved. Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 60:81–84.

External links[edit]