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High traffic

On 20 January 2010, Aurochs was linked from Slashdot, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)


The African cattle are thought to descend from aurochs more closely related to the Near Eastern ones.

that line in the article is ambigious or should be explained more. how is aurochs related to near eastern ones when near eastern ones were what european cattle came from but did not come from aurochs

"The aurochs or urus (Bos primigenius) was a very large type of cattle that was prevalent in Europe until its extinction in 1627." "prevalent...until extinction..." Suggest a mass extinction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:47, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Bos primigenius taurus, Bos primigenius indicus, Bos primigenius primigenius, Bos primigenius namadicus, and Bos primigenius mauretanicus, all of these are wrong from what I've found on other websites, it is actually "Bos taurus primigenius" and the same with the rest of them(aka, the species is "taurus")

In the fifth paragraph of the introduction, "to domestication events" should be changed to "two domestication events" Also there doesn't seem to be an edit link to this section that I could find. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

For: The ICZN decided in 2003 named "Bos primigenius" for the aurochs. Primigenius species, is formed in turn by three subspecies recognized: Bos primigenius primigenius, Bos primigenius namadicus, and Bos primigenius mauretanicus.

The information that you have is not clear. ¿What are your references? Greetings!

--Aurochs1 (talk) 06:52, 28 March 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1


I think we can assume a Wisent is a Bison? sjc

Public domain image of a Bison from Webster's Dictionary 1911

Actually, it might be that bison that still lives in the Polish hunting reserve...JHK

We are on the right track here, a Wisent is Bison bonasus... sjc

Doesn't everyone agree that this image (left) does not belong on this page? Any defenders? Wetman 21:17, 10 May 2004 (UTC)

The bison image came back (an editor who hasn't read this Talk page apparently) and has had to be reverted. --Wetman 01:05, 2 August 2005 (UTC)


It is spelled "Aurochs" in Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition. (German Auerochs, Old High German O.H.G. urohso ur- )

Yahoo powered by google shows : Auroch= appr 1700 x Aurochs= appr 3600x Auerochs , the German spelling shows = website zoologie, tu (University) Munich forrest This site states that the last on lived in Masuren Masuria ,not Poland . - user:H.J.

user:H.J., you are correct that it is aurochs, both singular and plural. I will move this now. By the way, the link you have above does not work for me. Paul Drye
Further detail on the Auroch or Aurochs thing -- the "S" on the end is an artifact. "Ochs" as in "Ox" not "more than one Och". It's an "Aur Ox", to use modern spelling. Though, no, the plural is not "Aur Oxen" :) -- Paul Drye

--In fact the modern german name is Auerochse, not Auerochs, with the plural Auerochsen.

A belated bit of follow-up: There is apparently a natural variation among many German n-nouns whereby the terminal -e (/ə/) may be emically present or absent depending on regional dialect. Thus either der Ochs (-en, -en) or der Ochse (-n, -n). In Hochdeutsch it is codified as present. Of course etically this difference matters very little. But this small difference is why I showed the German nominative form in the article as Auerochs/Auerochse. — Lumbercutter 21:04, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the etymology of the name and relation to the modern word "Ox" is interesting enough to go into the body of the article. --Alan Millar

Both Merriam Webster and Oxford English Dictionary give Aurochs in both singular and plural form. Auroch is presumably a back formation where Aurochs was assumed to be a plural. It is common in English for hunted/farmed animals to have the same singular/plural, they are treated as if they are uncountable nouns. (sheep, deer, elephant etc). I think only Gollum would use Aurochses! The reference [10] appears to be incorrect if MW refers to Merriam Webster. [1] Keithuk (talk) 00:28, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Geography Discussion[edit]

You did not read it all. When you do, you can ask the tu, Munich, I stated what they have stated Masuren, and not Masovia or Masovien. That is why I asked the question on /talk. user:H.J.
I think you missed the point... sjc
Gee, I dunno, user:H.J.. Maybe because the whole bloody article is written in German? In English it is always written Masovia. In 1627, Masovia or Masuren or whatever it is in whatever language you like, WAS IN POLAND. The Aurochs died in the Polish King's private hunting grounds -- were they in Prussia? I think not.JHK
Time for a cup of tea, JHK? Or something a little stronger? :-) sjc
Sorry , Masuren or Masurenland , Masurische Seen Platte (English Masovia) always has been and is in southern part of Prussia, to the north of Masovia. user:H.J.
Let me get this straight, are saying here, absolutely, in front of God (or gods or any other appropriate NPOV deity or lack thereof) and all your fellow Wikipedians, that Masovia or, in German Masuren, has NEVER been within the official borders of the Kingdom (or any other type of government in its history) of Poland? Think carefully -- what credibility you have left depends upon your answer...JHK
JHK , you do not show that you have contacted the website to clear if they meant Masovia, while they state Masuren .


The link is wrong. The hunting reserve where the last aurochs was killed was just outside Warsaw. The royal forest of Jaktorów to be precise. Very much in Masovia. -- Paul Drye
To Paul Drye If it was just outside of Warsaw, it is correct to say Masovia. Where did you read this ? Please let me know. Thank you user:H.J.
I found it in a few places on the web. For some reason most of them are in French, but an English one is:

If you can read French, one of the better ones is:

--Paul Drye

Thanks,Paul, I just found it on aristotle. It says that the last aurochs died of natural cause user:H.J.
Yes, there seems to be a split of opinion as to whether the last one was shot or just died. I tend to believe the paper on Aristotle, as it seems quite well researched, but I'm trying to find a few more sources in the hopes of clearing it up. -- Paul Drye
Remember... when all seems bad, remember that everything2's primary writeup on Aurochs ( ) is about Magic: The Gathering! But it's interesting to note that Webster 1913 seemed to believe Aurochs were ' nearly exinct'...
Thank you, both of you , I had heard about the 're-creation' (early zoology) and continuation of the Aurochs.

I am glad that you pointed me to the everything2 site, especially that my best search engine sofar just went down the drain. user:H.J.

Small clarification here, and an apology for yelling. When I revised the Auroch entry, I revised it after reading that the last Aurochs was killed in Masovia. Didn't even notice that the original entry had the wrong place altogether. It didn't occur to me at the time that the usual "it was in Prussia" discussion had been sidetracked by the misinformation that this happened in an entirely different province -- one that is in Prussia -- than the one I was talking about, which is in Poland. Apologies to Sensible Wikipedians like Paul Drye for jumping at shadows...JHK

Cave Paintings[edit]

Ancient cave dwellings show rock paintings and carvings of magical strength connected with the aurochs.

I happen to agree with this. However, I can't figure out how we "paint or carve magical strength". We need to rephrase this and put it back. Thanks.

It sounds like a right load of old Aurochs to me too. I will see whether we can't paint or carve this magically into shape... sjc

In these and many other early art-works, the aurochs are attributed with possessing magical qualities.

How the heck are we supposed to infer this from cave paintings? Maybe the artists meant to attribute the aurochs with being very organized, or attractively shaped, or well worth the effort of barbecuing.

They are certainly not worth barbecuing: they have been in the freezer far too long. Frankly, my take is this: they are painted ergo they are worthy of representation. If they are merely attributed (etc), this covers most of the bases since we don't need to get into long and tedious discussions about the role of the palaeolithic hunter/magician nor the converse view that the paintings were nothing to do with magic whatsoever but were in fact the palaeolithic equivalent of car mags, depicting things that men like looking at in their spare time. sjc

Well, long, but not everyone would find them "tedious", though I don't mean to have the conversation here. It's just that people can be pretty blithe about saying what art from other cultures means, with paleolithic art a great example of this. Have a good on:Does my edit of this cave paintings passage satisfy the reasonable objections? Wetman 05:42, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The Bison Image Again[edit]

Alan -- All of the websites I checked pretty uniformly said the Aurochs looked like the Lascaux cave paintings. The modern re-creation also looks like that. I think the picture from the 1911 source might be wrong -- it looks more like pictures of the Wisent to me. Would it be ok to remove it? JHK

Yes, the picture I found is not Bos primigenius, it is Bison bonasus.
Unfortunately, Webster's 1911 referred to Bison bonasus as the aurochs. It looks like the more up-to-date usage is that aurochs is Bos primigenius, and wisent is Bison bonasus. Does that sound right? --Alan Millar
That's what I found...JHK

That picture looks more like a bison than the beasties that are in the cave paintings and in the Minoan bull-vaulting paintings -- are you sure it's an aurochs? -- Marj Tiefert 13:35 Jul 31, 2002 (PDT)

Yep, that picture is a bison. Fred Bauder
Correct. The illustration from Webster we've been showing here at Aurochs is an American, not even "Lithianian", bison. I'm sitting with Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory under my elbow, the part about the royal bison of Bialowieza, and a painting by Roeland Savary illustrating it.Wetman 14:58, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Urus redirects here at the moment, but without explanation. It is apparently the Gothic name of the animal. I would like to change the redirect to Ur (rune) (or give an explanation here). dab () 09:57, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

According to this article (pg 464), this is what the auroch was called in Julius Caesar's "Commentaries on the Gallic Wars." Interestingly, the article, published in 1900 by the University of Chicago, states that the auroch "still exists, although in small numbers, in the forest of Lithuania." No source is given in the article for this information. Hex4d617474 (talk) 04:22, 11 December 2015 (UTC)


From the first paragraph: However, this scientific name is now considered invalid by ITIS, who classify aurochs under Bos taurus, the same species as domestic cattle.

Later: Domestication caused dramatic changes to the physiology of the creatures, to the extent that domestic cattle must now be regarded as a separate species (see above).

I don't know which of the two is correct; could someone sort it out and correct the article accordingly?


The problem is the next:

The origin of domestique cattle is from different auroch subespecies:

Bos primigenius primigenius: (Mitochondrial haplotype "T"): This is the aurochs of the middle east, and originated to european domestic cattle. Bos primigenius primigenius: (Mitochondrial haplotype "P"): This is the aurochs of europe, some people think that gave rise to some european breeds such as Holstein and Friesian (The mitochondrial haplotipe of that races agree whit that theory.) Bos primigenius mauretanicus: Some people says that is just the crossbreed between Bos primigenius primigenius ((Mitochondrial haplotype "T") and zebuine cattle, but, the mitochondrial haplotype of many african races is different. Bos primigenius namadicus: Gave rise to zebuine breeds.

In conclussion, I think that "Taurus name" is valid for european bovine breeds only.

PD: Most of the cattle breeds of the present are a bunch of races, that means that many european cattle have zebuine and african genetic.


--Aurochs1 (talk) 07:08, 28 March 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1

Aurochs interest[edit]

Dear all, I appreciate your interest in aurochs, because for many years I studied this bovine species; its history, morphology and ecology were all part of my study. That is why I can inform you that aurochs and European bison are two different bovine species. The first one is extinct, the other is still alive. The last aurochs lived in the Forest of Jaktorów, a royal forest near Warsaw, in the Province of Masovia (Poland). Masuria, in the Northeast of Poland, formerly was Prussian area, afterwards conquered by the Germans and nowadays Polish. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate about asking me. --Cheers, Cis

Hi Paul, The site I gave is partly in Dutch and partly in English. I have changed the introduction path. The (partial) English text is the following:

'This site provides information about the research into the history, morphology and ecology of the aurochs (Bos primigenius) by Cis van Vuure. After a many years’ research, the writing started in April 1998 and ended in April 2000. Eventually in 2003, we managed to publish this research in the form of a nice, illustrated (Dutch) book. Finally we found Pensoft Publishers willing to publish the English version, entitled ‘Retracing the aurochs – history, morphology and ecology of an extinct wild ox’. Halfway this year the book will be available. If you are interested in it and want to be put on the mailing list, please send me an email'.

This is not a commercial book, at least not for me: I spent so much money and effort that I shall never be compensated completely for it. This book tells the comprehensive story about all aspects of the aurochs and its relatives, and also of Heck cattle, the so-called bred-back aurochs. This was the only way to research and unmask all those mysteries around the aurochs.

--Best wishes, Cis


"According to the Paleontologisk Museum, University of Oslo, aurochs evolved in India some two million years ago, migrated into the Middle East and further into Asia, and reached Europe about 250,000 years ago."

False. Aurochs reached Germany and northern Europe about 250,000 years ago, but they occurs in the Iberian Peninsula since 700,000 years ago or more. Indeed, inmediate ancestor of aurochs, Bos acutifrons, lived in India, but the first Bos taurus primigenius are from central Spain. Please, visit this link:

Regards, a visitor.

That is indeed an error. I've edited the URL in the previous post here on this page. The old URL will be gone soon. That page is part of my website (The Extinction Website). The main source for the information on my website about the aurochs was and is the research done by Cis van Vuure. Personally I have the Dutch version, but the English version has become available this year. I can recomment this book to everyone who is interested in the aurochs. I personally have not seen such a complete and comprehensive work on the aurochs before. You can visit the website of Cis van Vuure at: RESEARCH INTO THE AUROCHS.

Pmaas 20:28, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Binomial name Error[edit]

The page says as binomial name the following: Bos taurus Bojanus, 1827. This is of course incorrect as it than should be Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758. Bojanus named the aurochs: Bos primigenius Bojanus, 1827.

Linnaeus gave the European domesticated cattle breeds its scientific name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758. He knew that the wild ancestor of domesticated cattle breeds had lived in Europe and maybe still lived at the time. We know this because he had classified 'urus' (= aurochs) under the same species name. Linnaeus saw the aurochs and the European domesticated cattle as one and the same species. In the time of Linnaeus the memory of the aurochs was almost completely disappeared. There was some confusion and discussion on the number of wild cattle species that existed in Europe. Like Bojanus, some said that only one species existed, namely the European bison or wisent (Bison bonasus). Others said that there were two species, namely the European bison and the aurochs. In the beginning of the 19th century many bones of aurochs were excavated and one complete skeleton existed. Bojanus named a new species from this skeleton: Bos primigenius Bojanus, 1827. (Van Vuure, 2003)

Nowadays we know that Bos primigenius and Bos taurus belong to the same species, so conform to the Code of the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature was the scientific name of the aurochs Bos primigenius changed into the name given by Linnaeus Bos taurus by Wilson and Reeder in 1993. Some scientists had criticism on this change of the scientific name of the aurochs. They wanted that there would be made an exception for domesticated animals.

In 2003, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature "conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms", confirming Bos primigenius for the Aurochs. Taxonomists who consider domesticated cattle a subspecies of the wild Aurochs should use Bos primigenius taurus; the name Bos taurus remains available for domestic cattle where it is considered to be a separate species. (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 2003)

The aurochs should be named as subspecies: Bos primigenius namadicus (Falconer, 1859), Bos primigenius mauretanicus (Thomas, 1881) and Bos primigenius primigenius (Bojanus, 1827). Pmaas 14:13, 24 December 2005 (UTC)


How big was an aurochs? weight-wise? And how much bigger than domestic cow was it? Baiter 05:46, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

The aurochs was much larger than the domesticated cows of now (the different breeds differ in size). Previously people thought that the shoulder height of an aurochs bull was approximately 200 cm and that of a cow 180 cm (Herre, 1953). Now scientists have calculated on the basis of the length of the humerus (upper leg bone) that the shoulder height of an aurochs bull probably varied between 160 and 180 cm, and that of an aurochs cow around 150 cm. [2] Pmaas 16:52, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks... but that doesn't say anything about weight. I'm under the impression some domesticated bulls weigh 1000kg. Can an aurochs really have weighed more than that? What about a cape buffalo? Baiter 22:12, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
From reading the book on Cis van Vuure's research into the aurochs (2002,2003 & 2005), I can say the following: About the weight, Matolcsi (1970) and Bergstrom & Van Wijngaarden-Bakker (1983) have tried to find a relation between the weight of certain bones of domesticated cattle and its total weight. However, this relation showed very influenced by age, breed and/or food condition. So it was hard to predict a weight. Even if it worked (on these fresh bones) it is hard to say, that it would have worked on the (sub)fossil bones of the aurochs. When we look to the weight of the Wisent (European Bison) and the Banteng, than we see that wisent cows vary in weight between 320 to 540 kg end wisent bulls between 530 and 920 kg. Hoogerwerf (1970) mentiones that Banteng bulls have a weight between 500 and 900 kg. So the weights vary extremely! If the aurochs had also a similar weight, seems likely when we look to their size! However, it remains speculative! We can't be sure! Pmaas 09:04, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the informed response. Baiter 15:50, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

should not thins information be included in the artcle? --Dia^ 16:21, 11 November 2007 (UTC)


Removed a duplicate copy of an entry on this page. CFLeon 05:43, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Reconstruction of the Aurochs[edit]

In the article there is no mention of the reconstruction attempt of the auroch by the two German brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck in the '20. See the French page about the Heck's auroch for more info. In the Spanish, Italian, French and German pages about the auroch, the reconstruction attempt is always mentioned, it would be nice to see it here too. --giandrea 20:12, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Heck cattle used to be mentioned here, too. --Wetman 21:11, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

genetic origin of domestic cattle[edit]

Just read a newspaper article about the genetic origin of European domestic cattle: surprisingly, they all seem to derive from Middle Eastern rather than European (auerochs?) ancestors. Obviously, there must have been substantial migration involved. The relevant scientific article (which I cannot access) is:

Edwards CJ et al., 2007. Mitochondrial DNA analysis shows a Near Eastern Neolithic origin for domestic cattle and no indication of domestication of European aurochs. Proceedings Royal Society B 274:1377-1385

Via google search also found this related blog entry:

Might be of sufficient interest to warrant mentioning. HeinzT 11:59, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

The above blog post suggests that though mtDNA shows Near Eastern origin, the Y-chromosomes show some Aurochs DNA.--Theodore Kloba (talk) 16:30, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Link from Wired article[edit]

On June 8, 2007 an article in Wired magazine linked to this Wikipedia article. [3] -- 03:11, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Silly "Trivia"[edit]

The cultural history section as such is good, but I do not understand why people always feel the urge to add all sorts of junk on pop, games and what not to reasonably good articles. That stuff is silly and repelling. If I want information on an interesting animal species, and a most impressive one as well, I don't want the article soiled by all this nonsense. It is repelling. Keep your own web site on such trivia for anyone who want to waste their time with such stuff, but do not molest the general public with it, and under the label "Encyclopaedia" (which has an honourable tradition in Europe); that amounts to label cheating. (talk) 14:53, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Bronze Age or 1627[edit]

Up top, the article says Aurochs died off in the 1600s, but the domestication+extinction part says the Bronze Age. I believe there's a major difference in time there. (talk) 23:55, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

It says they died out in Britain during the Bronze Age. The last known one died in Poland in 1627. (not sure if this was clarified after your post...) Jogar2 (talk) 15:04, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

How big was the aurochs REALLY[edit]

The article gives two different figures for height (at the withers): 1.75 meters and 2 meters. I do not know which of these is correct? Marked it as contradictory for now. -Stian (talk) 14:19, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Who is (or are) MWU?[edit]

Call me an oik if you like, but who is the authority referenced in the line "The declension auroch (sg), aurochs (pl), acknowledged by MWU"? Is it Miniatures Wargaming Union? Or the of Webster's Third New International Dictionary Unabridged? Nuttyskin (talk) 14:32, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

See under "References" at M. — ¾-10 22:36, 1 May 2009 (UTC)


I read in a paper, albeit The Sun, that Hitler brought back aurochs, or a similar animal?

That would be Heck cattle. --Charles (talk) 12:56, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyrights[edit] I think tha's a copyrights infrigment.Plushy (talk) 21:50, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

It looks to me like they're making clear (enough) where they got their info from. In each heading there's "[Wiki]", which links to the Wikipedia article. It's not as clear as it ought to be, but I think that's their way of citing their source (which in this case is Wikipedia). They appear to be a site that collates and abstracts odd info from multiple sources, including WP, and it appears to be OK upon cursory overview. — ¾-10 01:47, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Complete skeleton?[edit]

Does such a thing, or a full-scale reconstruction thereof, exist? If it does, I think this article would benefit greatly from a picture of it with humans or some other comparison object so as to better gauge its actual size, since it's apparent that a bovine the size of a small elaephant is difficult for many of us to picture. Since they didn't go extinct until the 17th Century CE this doesn't seem out of the question? Wormwoodpoppies (talk) 23:33, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

There is already an image of a complete mounted skeleton in the article, but yeah, a size comparison could be nice. FunkMonk (talk) 23:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Vuure, Bible and Hecks[edit]

Currently the Hecks cattle is not referenced in this or its main article (please check the sources), the bible is quoted in the last section of this article about how translations confused "aurochs" with "unicorn" for a long time and before claiming there are no sources or that a source does not support the information on the article you should find the nearest [4] and check it. ~ R.T.G 22:54, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

And note the ref above is the one concerning Vuure and various other aspects of aurochs and many species extint or endangered. ~ R.T.G
Also note the source quotes the original release date of Vuures research (2003) but the one quoted on the article is the English language version (2006) ~ R.T.G
The Heck cattle are indeed covered: see Aurochs#Attempts at breeding back.
A bit of confusion about "fact" queries in WP. Placing such a query does not necessarily imply doubt that a fact is true (though it often does) or that there are no refs – the tag is requesting a ref, as indicated by what appears in the text: "citation needed".
The Bibical thing seems plausible, but the Agricultural History ref is mediocre at best. It's very old (1952), not primary (it refers to an earlier author), and uses out of date taxonomy and phylogeny (it talks about Bos brachyceros as a separate ancestor of domestic cattle, now a discredited idea). Not even clear if it's a refereed paper or just a letter. We need much more modern, academic refs for this – and anyway, the meaning of a particular word in the Hebrew Bible is always going to be guesswork. Richard New Forest (talk) 13:45, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Avoidance of italic for use–mention distinction only when lang="en": Pros? Cons?[edit]

This article was recently changed to that model. I'm not sure it's preferable to the model of using italic for all use–mention distinction (of any language), with quote marks being reserved for sense definitions. For example: The word appreciate in everyday speech most often means "to recognize with gratitude", but prescriptivists should not insist on limiting it only to that one sense; it also means "to take due notice of", that is, "to be duly aware of the significance of". However, I could appreciate (ha) any good arguments in favor of this model. Quercus solaris (talk) 17:18, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

The article doesn't seem to be consistent. We have 'the word aurochs comes from...', which uses italics for a mention of the English word. Then we have 'The use in English of the plural form "aurochsen" is not...', and 'English "ox" and "oxen" '. All of these are mentions too, but have quotes instead. Later we have uses in quotes too: 'literally meaning "primeval ox" or "proto-ox" '. I too prefer the convention of italics for mentions and quotes just for defs, but whatever we do it should be consistent.
Incidentally, I can't see the point of using the language template for English words on the English wiki – is that a WP convention I'm unaware of? Richard New Forest (talk) 20:40, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
No further comment, so I've removed that language template, and a similar Latin one used for scientific names. Richard New Forest (talk) 13:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

See also[edit]

I noticed how bare the See also section is so I searched for Aurochs on the wiki and went through each article with possible merit. It turned out that there was more than a hundred with some relation or cultural notability. I know 50 links is over doing it on any article but with so many connective articles for this one, I don't know which ones are best so I didn't add even one to the article but I did list the ones that were directly related or culturally related to the aurochs - User:RTG/Aurochs see also Some are ridiculous but most do have an interesting connection ~ R.T.G 17:02, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Proposed merges[edit]

Three new stub articles have just been created by User:XNemesis94: Indian Aurochs, Eurasian Aurochs and North African Aurochs. User:Kevmin has tagged them for merging into Aurochs. Any thoughts? Richard New Forest (talk) 13:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Richard for fixing the merge request. I started it and then had to take care of real life. --Kevmin (talk) 20:32, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
One of the links redirects back here and none are likely to make worthwhile articles in their own right. I agree with merging.--Charles (talk) 14:12, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Link fixed. Richard New Forest (talk) 17:56, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I propose these three should be merged into the main article here for a couple of reasons. One is what Charles pointed out, that they are not very notable, and likely to remain stubs. Also all three articles are completely unsourced so there is no indication as to the reliability of the information. More importantly though is that I am finding very few references in google scholar that actually refer to those subspecies names. If the subspecies section gets too big then a subspecies article could be sun off but I dont see that happening in the near future.--Kevmin (talk) 20:32, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh, someone (User: has just redirected them all back to Aurochs#Subspecies. This seems premature – I'd have thought the discussion still had a bit to run. (We haven't, for example, heard from their originator, and I haven't yet expressed a view myself.) Still, I suggest we leave them as they are for the moment, and restore them if we decide they do deserve to be articles. Any further views? Richard New Forest (talk) 09:40, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Extinct in the Wild[edit]

Isn't the Aurochs extinct in the wild? The cow is just the domesticated form of the Aurochs, so why not? (talk) 12:22, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Not quite clear what you mean... Are you saying that it's only extinct as a wild species, but the species as a whole is not extinct because it survives in domestication? This would only be true if you consider them to be the same species, but even if you do, you have to accept that the wild subspecies is indeed extinct. Wherever you draw the species line, aurochs were not the same as domestic cattle, any more than wolves are dogs or wild boar are domestic pigs. Richard New Forest (talk) 18:58, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Note:The unreffed subspecies section is disputing sources[edit]

Hi, here is an edit [5] by which the National Academies Press differs with the unsourced section. ~ R.T.G 06:47, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Problematic etymology: PIE *tawros[edit]

In May 2009 User:Belsavis made an edit stating an etymological derivation of "aurochs" from PIE *tawros (source of Latin taurus, etc.). Sources were originally given from Wiktionary (which as of April 2010 does not mention this) but have since been deleted. IMHO I doubt this etymology is plausible at all: *tawros could not possibly produce something like "aurochs" (but more plausibly, through s-mobile, Old High German stior, New High German Stier "steer"), and I cannot find any source for it, so I removed it. The pre-edit deleted etymology ("water", etc) was IMHO more plausible. -- the Great Gavini 18:47, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Julius Caesar on the auroch[edit]

The page mentiones that Caesar describes the auroch in Comentarii de Bello Gallico, VI:28, and indeed, in the original latin version he describes an animal he calls "uri". Now, my question is: do we know for an absolute fact that he was, indeed, talking about the Auroch, and NOT the European Bison (wisent)? As a layman, it does make sense that "uri" would be the romanization of the auroch's indigenous name, and the description certainly fits; but I couldn't help noticing that all the English translation I could get my hands on left the word untranslated (rather than taking a stand and using "auroch"); and my Hungarian translation uses "bölény", which clearly refers to a bison. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:13, 10 June 2010 (UTC)


Pliny (23-79) speaks of the differences between the aurochs (uri) and bison (bisontes):

"..paucissima Scytuia gignit, inopia fruticum, pauca contérmina illi Germania insigniata men boum ferorum genera, jubatos bisontes, excellentique vi et velocitate uros.."

"..Little is known about which in germania call wild ox: Wooly bison, and strong and fast aurochs..."


--Aurochs1 (talk) 07:34, 28 March 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1

If the translation is right, it sounds convincing to me, that the European bison was actually meant by Julius Ceasar. The romans knew cattle and perhaps even remaining herds of wild aurochs or feral cattle herds. I think a European bison, which occurred only north of the Alps would have been more exciting for them. --Altaileopard (talk) 10:07, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Altaileopard!

Remember that Julius Ceasar says:

"..It is somewhat below the size of an elephant and has its appearance, colour and shape as a bull.."

Obviously he describes the aurochs. Pliny differentiates very well between the aurochs and bison, saying that the bison are furry, and that the aurochs are fast and strong.


--Aurochs1 (talk) 15:50, 28 March 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1

Legendary creature[edit]

Could the Catoblepas [[6]] be interpreted as the North Afican subspecies of the Aurochs ?Longfinmako (talk) 12:55, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

All the cultures likely to have propagated this myth would have been very familiar with domestic cattle, and some with the European aurochs itself. If these cultures came across an aurochs of any kind, they would surely describe it as a kind of cattle. Doesn't look to me as if this is a runner. Richard New Forest (talk) 16:17, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I guess you are right but the Jan Jonston's reconstitution looks somewhat like an aurochs or at least a wild cattle, it doesn't match the descriptions both made by Pliny and Aelianus. Longfinmako (talk) 17:27, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Can this be a feature article please? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:43, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I would like to add that the Catoplebas' descriptions made by both authors pretty match some sort of Suid, maybe a giant form of warthog.Longfinmako (talk) 11:35, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Aurochs1 illustration[edit]

The illustration entitled aurochs1 shows the old, and what is now believed to be the exaggerated height of over 1.85 meters at the shoulder. It's now believed that aurochs didn't get much tall that 1.75 meters at the shoulder. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aurochs2 (talkcontribs) 12:09, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Size comparison
How about this edit? FunkMonk (talk) 16:07, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Another 185 cm bull appeared! The art quality is better but the exageration is just the same. Teodoro Ghisi picture also can´t be an aurochs, because there´s not even 1 aurochs fossil that I´m aware about to have horns like that. Muzzle is unusual for an aurochs, as well as the vertebral spine shape. The aurochs fighting hunting dogs, from Johann Roos, is also impossible to be an aurochs. The reasons are clear, I don´t need to go further... This is my contribution. I would like to read other opinions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 2 March 2012 (UTC)


  • I wonder where you base to say that vertebral spine shape of the aurochs isn´t convex upward?

Have you ever seen an aurochs skeleton? .-The vertebral spinal processes of the aurochs are so large and so long, so, the back of the aurochs is convex. The cows of present days, have short vertebral spinal processes, so the back of these animals is flat.

  • About the muzzle:

Look the next img, here we can see the aurochs muzzle:,r:3,s:18


--Aurochs1 (talk) 06:42, 28 March 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1

Hi, as far as I can see, the horn shape itself on the Ghisi picture is alright, but it is the direction that is wrong. The scientific paper it is from stated it might not have been drawn after a live specimen, but of descriptions of one, which would explain the faults. The spiral lines on the horns of the Herberstein image seem a bit weird as well. s for the new size comparison, it needs more of a dewlap and to be more robust. FunkMonk (talk) 17:23, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

"Wild ox"[edit]

How correct is the name "wild ox"? There are five places in the article (all in quotations or citations) where the term "wild ox" is used, but it is otherwise not listed as one of the names for the animal. Should it be? Would it be equally correct (or even more correct) to say "wild bull" or "wild cow"? (talk) 22:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Etymologically that term holds no accuracy. Why is it used in the article at all? ♆ CUSH ♆ 22:19, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Good effort, but there's no change to be made. As for the question "why is it used in the article at all", it's a silly question if you actually look at the occurrences and their contexts. As pointed out, every instance of the string "wild ox" on the page (as found by ctrl-f) is quoted from a specific context. Four of them are mentions of a book title (a WP:RS, which is one of the references), and the fifth is a direct quote (or its translation) from 1596. But given that, how could any of them be changed to another term? You can't change the title of the book, nor what someone said in 1596. So on those grounds, there's no change to be made. But also on further grounds as well: As for whether it's correct or incorrect to call an aurochs a wild ox, it can't be declared incorrect in any way that would ban the phrase from the article (not to mention telling Cis van Vuure that the title of the book were unacceptable). This is because one of the senses of the word "ox", per Merriam-Webster Collegiate, is, broadly, a bovine mammal. So a wild ox, in that sense, is simply a wild bovine, which the aurochs was. There's nothing more etymologically specific to object to about the phrase; it's being used in a common-noun sense. (Like calling a brumby a "wild horse"—nothing incorrect there; in other words, no one is saying that "wild horse" is a name specific to brumbies, just like van Vuure is not saying that "wild ox" is a name specific to aurochses). So I would say, good effort at thinking critically (i.e., not just accepting the phrase without thinking), but a due look at the specifics shows that there's nothing wrong with the mentions of the phrase as currently written. — ¾-10 02:31, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
The name is used here, by the way: FunkMonk (talk) 02:50, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

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About aurochs illustrations[edit]

What do you think of the next img?: Is the taurus by Jhoannes Hevelius (Danzig Poland 1611-1687). Greetings!

--Aurochs1 (talk) 05:20, 10 April 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1

It had died out when he was 16, is there any source stating it depicts an aurochs? FunkMonk (talk) 05:22, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi Funkmonk! I don´t know if there are sources that say that this is an aurochs, but the possibility exists. Maybe Hevelius saw the aurochs as a child. The color pattern, the horn morphology and the curly hair in the forehead are aurochs characteristics. About the sources: We can´t always rely on them, the etymology of the word "aurochs", have some errors: Auer= refers to wild, Ochsen: refers to bull or bullock.

Greetings! --Aurochs1 (talk) 18:17, 10 April 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1

Is it a curl, or does it have a ring in its ear? FunkMonk (talk) 19:00, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I don´t know :s What do you think? --Aurochs1 (talk) 21:54, 10 April 2012 (UTC)Aurochs1

Absent a reliable source that establishes that he is actually depicting an auroch, all of our commentary borders on original research. By the way Aurochs1, all you need to do to make your signature is ~~~~. You don't have to add your user name, Wiki does it automatically. SkepticalRaptor (talk) 22:11, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Raptor!--Aurochs1 (talk) 22:27, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Roelant Savery painting from 1611 apparently showing a white dodo in the lower right corner
For the record, this paper[7] claims the bovines in the upper right corner of the 1611 image here are "urus". FunkMonk (talk) 14:14, 10 June 2012 (UTC)


Appearantly, it is going to be re-introduced at Kempen-Broek in 2015, see (talk) 16:54, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Another skeleton in Copenhagen[edit]

The article now has images of two Copenhagen skeletons, but I have a photo of a third one, at the Zoological Museum, but I can't find any references to it, anyone know if its a cast or a original?[8] The plaque seemed to indicate it's original. FunkMonk (talk) 15:58, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

It's an original, AFAIK. While I am not so sure about the sex of that skeleton (because of the horn orientation and the height of the spines at the shoulders, which look male, but the short skull and body which look female), the other two Copenhagen skeletons, which are currently on the article, are definitely cows. It would be good if the article would show at least one bull skeleton as well; unfortunately, I haven't taken one yet. The Lund and Sassenberg skeletons are bulls, for example. -- DFoidl (talk) 21:45, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
It wasn't very tall either, so yeah, probably a cow. There is the skull of a bull you took a photo of, perhaps we could find some room for it in the article. FunkMonk (talk) 13:25, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Turns out it is a bull after all, I looked at an old museum catalogue I have. The skeleton is from 7400 BC, found in Vig, and was found with arrows. Sounds similar to the other specimen in the article, is it just a coincidence?. I have another photo which the catalogue says is both the largest bull found in Scandinavia, as well as one of the oldest found in Denmark (9060 BC), but the image is sadly destroyed by glare.[9] FunkMonk (talk) 22:32, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Which reasons did the catalogue give for the skeleton being a bull? It may well be a bull, with those high spines and the forward-pointing horns. However, the short trunk and snout look female to me and I remember that some sources describe it as female. Maybe we should say it is a "putative bull" in the article. I am not sure if this is the specimen found with arrows, according to my knowledge, it is this cow skeleton that was found with arrows and wounds: I'll add the skull photo as well, as it gives a nice idea how aurochs skulls looked like in frontal view. -- DFoidl (talk) 18:18, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

The catalogue only states it's a bull, not why, and the arrows were exhibited as well, here's a photo[10], and the two clearly look like different individuals. FunkMonk (talk) 18:43, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Good article?[edit]

I think this could become a good article. What do you say, DFoidl, you seem to be editing the page frequently? FunkMonk (talk) 19:43, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I think the article deserves that status; it's one of the better ones of recently extinct animals I think. -- DFoidl (talk) 21:30, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Alright! Well, I sadly don't have many sources available on this animal, are there any books you can recommend? I would happily help get this to GA, or even FA, status. FunkMonk (talk) 21:33, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

There are not many books on the aurochs, but Cis van Vuure's "Retracing the aurochs" already provides a lot of knowledge on the aurochs. I already used it as a reference on many passages in the article. And if you can read german, I'd also recommend Walter Frisch's "Der Auerochs - das europäische Rind", it gives some nice details on aurochs specimens with much photo material, and also provides precise knowledge on Heck cattle - but be cautious, the book is written by a Heck cattle breeder, so he believes Heck cattle is synonymous with the aurochs, which is great nonsense. And if you want, I can send you some papers on aurochs genetics that are available on the web. DFoidl (talk) 10:29, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! Are the articles you mention behind paywalls? And I haven't read a book in German since high school, so I'm not sure if I could manage it now, but "Retracing the Aurochs" seems interesting (yet expensive). FunkMonk (talk) 00:45, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Any thoughts on what this article needs? The biggest problem I can see right now is the lack of citations. FunkMonk (talk) 21:16, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Who's the Bos ?[edit]

Hi, compare taxobox in Aurochs and Cattle article. How can you keep two articles whith both Bos primigenius as a binomial name ? If you follow Mammal Species of the World, or "Systematics and taxonomy" section in Bos article, you should update the classification, and redirections... and maybe Wikidata links as well (it's a mess up there). --Salix (talk) 22:21, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Because they are not separate species. Cattle are just the domesticated form of Bos taurus. A way to get around this would be listing cattle as Bos taurus domesticus, which I believe is a somewhat controversial subspecies. FunkMonk (talk) 22:25, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Another problem seems to be that it covers two separate domesticated forms with each their own trinomial. In my opinion, that means it is not a proper taxon article. A way to fix it could be creating separate articles for the two "subspecies". FunkMonk (talk) 22:31, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
The trinomen Bos primigenius f. domestica can be found quite often on the web. This could be seen as a forma domestica group comprising the two forms Bos primigenius f. taurus and Bos primigenius f. indicus. (f. = forma (not written in italics) is frequently used in trinomens denoting domestic forms, so as not to award a domestic form subspecies status. At this point there is, as far as I am aware, no internationally accepted standard method for scientifical naming of domestic species, which poses a bit of a problem to comprehensive encyclopedias like Wikipedia. See for instance [11] or [12].) Roberta jr. (talk) 11:02, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Indian Aurochs restoration[edit]

A restoration of the Indian Aurochs has recently been added. But it seems to be very closle if not too close, to the extant zebu, which is a form of cattle derived form it. I'd imagine it would look more like the European aurochs, and that the distinct features of the zebu are due to breeding by humans. But what do others say? How is the animal restored in the literature? FunkMonk (talk) 12:04, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

I think there are no restorations in literature. The horns and head were based on this skull. Since all zebus have a shoulder hump, it is very likely, that the wild ancestor also had a hump. It would have helped the animal also to store fat for the dry season without having a strong fat layer under the skin arround the body (as seen in European cattle in winter). That could have helped to prevent overheating. The legs might have been relatively longer and the body more slender than in typical zebu cattle, as it is also true for European aurochs and taurine cattle breeds. The colour is rather speculative, which is the case actually in many other live restorations. We should start to bred back the Indian aurochs from primitive, large zebu races and introduce it into some Indian National Parks. Optimally those, which are to dry for the forest-dwelling gaur. eg. Gir Forest, Ranthambore, Kuno ect. --Altaileopard (talk) 21:09, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Even with the hump, I'd imagine it to look much more like the European subspecies than a modern man-made breed, we don't know how much of the zebus appearance is due to breeding. I guess DFoidl may have more info on the issue. FunkMonk (talk) 21:14, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
To my knowlegde, there is nothing else left than bones from the Indian aurochs. I talked to Dfoidl and he also is not aware of any descriptions either. I guess there might be some depictions in Indian rock art, but it is probably difficult to distinguish potential wild aurochs from domestic cattle. Some downsides of my image (which is shown in the article) come also from technical difficulties. My image was based on a small zebu, which had not a very athletic stature and a rather big belly. Also the horns are still quite small in my image. The dewlap at the belly might not have been present in wild Indian aurochs. Although I guess, at least the dewlap at the neck was bigger, than in the European aurochs and might have helped against overheating. Teh color is speculative, but you see this brown-black pattern in many zebus. It could be a hint to the original color of the wild form. My image is just a first attempt. It should be taken also as an inspiration to resurrect the Indian aurochs. Since B. (p.) namadicus has been domesticated independently and is sometimes treated as a seperate species, I guess primitive zebus would still look more similar to Indian aurochs, than primitive European cattle breeds. In any case, a resurrection of the Indian aurochs would start with primitive zebu cattle breeds, because genetic integrity of the species/subspecies should be maintained. Cheers, --Altaileopard (talk) 12:38, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi, indeed there is not much known of the Indian aurochs. There are only one or two complete crania and only fragmentary postcranial skeletons, and no information on the coat colour according to Marleen Felius (pers. com.) and Cis van vuure (2005). But the bone material tells us that this subspecies probably was a bit smaller than the European one, but had proportionally larger and more wide-ranging horns. There are some miniature zebus (and perhaps more breeds) that virtually display the same colour as described for the European aurochs and found in Bantengs and Gaurs. Therefore I think the colour is the same, but it does not rule out that the Indian subspecies had some colour autapomorphies like a saddle or the "zebu tipping gene". Therefore, the colour goes under artistic license. I am still skeptical on the presence of a hump in the Indian aurochs (it would be awesome, bovines with a fat hump!), but if it indeed helped to store fat it might have a functional reason. But afaik the hump consists mostly of hypertrophied muscle (M. rhomboideus). But I think the hump goes under artistic license too. There is no compelling evidence for or against it. Speaking of the body shape, I think that the Indian aurochs had a body shape like other wild bovines, and also probably much higher shoulder spines than living zebus. Gaurs, Bantengs and Bison of course have very high shoulder spines, so do all skeletons of the eurasian aurochs. Therefore, parsimony dictates that the indian aurochs had prominent high shoulder spines as well, and consequently an S-curved back, so the body should have "more hump, less rump" (by hump I mean like in bison this time), and probably resembled Wisents and Spanish fighting cattle in life. There are no zebus with such a body shape that I am aware of. But all in all, I think that Altaileopard's reconstruction is well acceptable, especially because there are virtually no reconstructions of the Indian aurochs. I'll do one myself during the following weeks, btw. --DFoidl (talk) 07:27, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

I made a new one already. May be a bit more like an european one. I think we should start a seperate article for the Indian aurochs. Cheers, --Altaileopard (talk) 23:39, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm not so sure if a separate article on the Indian aurochs is useful, because there is really little literature on B.p. namadicus. But maybe we should do some research and see what we can find, and if it's enough for a separate article. But this subspecies is really enigmatic. Cheers, DFoidl (talk) 19:52, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I think at this point, we should focus on improving this article first, if enough material is collected about the subspecies, we can split them off if it gets too much here. FunkMonk (talk) 21:15, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I saw, that there was a REDIRECT Indian aurochs already. Based on this, I startet a seperate article now. But if you would like to include the information rather in the species article, it is easy to copy and paste. Cheers, --Altaileopard (talk) 21:21, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Good work, I'll see what I can add during the next days. BTW, where is the separation of primigenius and namadicus more than 600.000 years ago from? All the dates for the split I have seen so far range between 100.000 and 200.000 years BC. DFoidl (talk) 17:58, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, would be great if you could add some more information. This is the paper for the split time estimate. Cheers, --Altaileopard (talk) 14:37, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Ok, thanks. That study is quite old, perhaps it is outdated already; I'll add some more recent references during the following days. DFoidl (talk) 20:13, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Bos primigenius extinct?[edit]

This artucle's infobox says that the Bos primigenius species is extinct, yet the Cattle article says that B. primigenius isn't extinct. More specifically, the Cattle article article says that domesticated Cattle are two subspecies of Bos primigenius. Which is it, is Bos primigenius extinct? Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 06:17, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

This is a taxonomy language issue. B. primigenius is the ancestral animal, B. p. taurus and B. p. indicus are the modern descendants. Similarly, we see this in horses; the ancestral equus ferus is extinct, but the modern horse is called equus ferus caballus, etc. Montanabw(talk) 22:48, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
B. primigenius is a species, and by definition all B. primigenius subspecies (not merely ancestral subspecies) are members of the species B. primigenius. Some ancestral subspecies may be extinct, but if the species survives it is by definition not extinct. Is there something I'm missing here? Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:11, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Also, it's only the Equus ferus ferus subspecies that is extinct, Equus ferus is not extinct. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:17, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • It is a complex issue, and has more to do with arbitrary nomenclature than logic. The IUCN lists it as extinct, and mentions the taxonomic problem, and we should too, to avoid confusion. FunkMonk (talk) 00:22, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I see, there's a dispute as to weather Cattle are part of Bos primigenius, or their own separate species. This article's infobox presents the separate species view, and the Cattle infobox presents the same species view. Perhaps we should take whatever view is most backed up by RS and present it in both infoboxes, it's a little confusing to have two contradictory infoboxes. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 08:50, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
At the very leas, there should be a thorough explanation in the article itself. FunkMonk (talk) 14:43, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

See also Talk:Aurochs#Who′s the Bos?, a short discussion on the naming problem just four weeks ago. Roberta jr. (talk) 18:07, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

However, here I think Emmette's issue is just with the taxonomy binomial naming, and Emmettee, your raising the exact same issue at the wild horse article (where there is no such dispute) isn't helping. The disputes over taxonomy are very nuanced and the cattle article just will follow the decision once the dust settles. It may seem illogical, but so is turning your wheels into a skid. Montanabw(talk) 19:48, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't it is the exact same issue. The primary issue there isn't taxonomy, but normal English. My understanding is that the term "wild horse" refers to the wild non-domesticated horse, as opposed to domestic horse, i.e. that the domestic horse is not a wild horse, yet that article clearly states that the domestic horse is a type of wild horse.
Not in horses. "Wild" means "ancestors never domesticated." It's quite an important distinction, but for that article, not here. Montanabw(talk) 00:37, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Unless I'm missing something here, your understanding of taxonomy isn't correct. Equus ferus (for example) is a species, not a subspecies. Equus ferus ferus is a subspecies of Equus ferus, just as Equus ferus caballus is a subspecies of Equus ferus. All subspecies of species are by definition are members of that species; by definition Equus ferus X is member of the species Equus ferus. Equus ferus is just an example, same thing would apply if we were talking about any old species; for example, both Homo sapiens idaltu (the the extinct ancestral form) and Homo sapiens sapiens are members of the human (Homo sapiens) species. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk)
You are right that a species is not extinct if any of its subspecies are extant. But one of the problems is that a decision was made (by the ICZN) so the species name of wild forms applied to domesticated forms as well, even if that name was younger, and this seems to have created a mess, and not everyone follows it. Both cattle and modern horses have this problem, it seems. FunkMonk (talk) 22:29, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Precisely, Funk Monk has it correct. I can't say I like it, but it's reality and WP has to live with it. Montanabw(talk) 00:37, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
You sound allot more knowledgeable about this then me, but if the wild forms and domesticated form were of the same species, wouldn't they have the same species name. Conversely if they were of different species, wouldn't they have different species names (one for each species)? Are you referring to cases where the wild and domesticated forms were previously classified as different species, but have sense been re-classified as the same species, and saying that in such cases the former wild species name is used regardless of which name is older? Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:43, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
This paper should explain it better than I can, haven't read it though, so I might be wrong: FunkMonk (talk) 23:02, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I had just gotten finished rewording my post (previous wording was rather unclear) and was about to save it, but there was an edit conflict from your response. The reworded part was "You sound allot more knowledgeable about this then me, but if an animal's wild and domesticated forms were the same species, wouldn't they share the same species name scene there would only be one species? Conversely, if the wild and domesticated forms were two (or more) different species, wouldn't each species have it's own species name?" Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 23:17, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh, but aside from the species/subspecies distinction, that would be far too logical for taxonomists! LOL! And hugs to you! Montanabw(talk) 00:37, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm a little confused be your 00:37 22 August posts, I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me, and what points if any we still disagree on.
In scientific names, there is such a thing as a synonym where a species has more then one name, but the use of anything other then the primary name is strongly discouraged. Synonyms aside, I'm almost certain that the way it works is that each species receives it's own unique name, which applies to that whole species and only to that species. For example "Homo sapiens" refers to the entire human species, and includes H. s. idaltu (extinct) and H. s. sapiens (our sub-species). The term "Homo sapiens" does not include any species other then our own, e.g. it excludes the species Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis. That's why your original statement confused me. I wasn't realty aware of the dispute over weather cattle was it's own species, your statement implied that domestic cattle were two B. primigenius sub-species, which would make them by definition part of B. primigenius.
From that FunkMonk's PDF and the IUCN list, I gather that it's disputed whether wild and domestic cattle are the same species or two separate species, whether wild and domestic forms of an animal would in general count as the same species, and when wild and domestic forms are the same species but were previously thought to be separate, which species name should be used. Put those three things together, and I think we've entered a minefield of confusion.
My main point here is that in both infoboxes, we should probably go with whatever view (same species or different species) is more supported by RS. If it's this infobox we want to change, we could model it after the Cattle infobox like this (Aurochs, regardless of whether it's the same species as domestic cattle, is extinct). Complicating that somewhat is that even if this is a single species, I get the impression that it's disputed weather that species should be called B. primigenius or B. taurus. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 08:12, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Similar breeds[edit]

The article is growing, but not due to info about the actual animal itself. Perhaps much of this should be moved to a new, separate article? FunkMonk (talk) 20:07, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

I am not sure whether it will stand on its own or be challenged and removed; also, once the backbreeding and rewilding attempts have reached a stage where the animal once again roams the wild as a full-fledged successor to the subspecies Bos primigenius primigenius it would belong here anyway. (Officially and in sections 1, 2 and 6 this is an article on Bos primigenius. Admittedly, much of the rest of the article deals only with the extinct Bos primigenius primigenius.) Until this query is decided, two possible improvments:
a) I have now added an introductinary sentence to the section, so as to better tie it in with the topic of the article.
b) The section might be better off at the end of the article, as the section ″Culture″ deals with the chronologically earlier extinct subspecies.
--Roberta jr. (talk) 09:05, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, those animals are not aurochses, they just resemble them superficially. So an article called "Aurochs-like cattle breeds" or some such would be a much better venue for such info, instead of bloating this article further with marginally related information. FunkMonk (talk) 01:25, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Less-derived cattle breeds – Heck cattle[edit]

Heck cattle is mentioned as a primitive breed in the article, but it is not. I made a (sourced) edit to reflect this, but had it reverted. Is there a reason for the revert? Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:08, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes. Your change implies that Heck cattle is not primitive because it doesn't genetically resemble the aurochs but the "primitive" breeds do, and there is no published genetic evidence for such an implication. And as I already said, there is no reason to mention Heck cattle in that section, because there is an own section for the breeding-back projects right down below. -- DFoidl (talk) 14:29, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Just removing Heck cattle from the list as you did is probably the best solution. Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:04, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Heck cattle is not a landrace (i.e. not an old, autochthonous breed), but it is a primitive breed. It is a distinct breed (even officially recognized), and it is primitive in the biological sense (cf. wiktionary definition adjective 1 and especially 5: ″[...] characteristic of an early stage of development or evolution.″) Being characteristic of an early stage of development was the one aim it was bred for, and while it is not necessarily very much closer to the aurochs in this regard than the other primitive breeds listed (which I assume is what van Vuure criticised (I do not have access to the source)), it also is not more distant. --Roberta jr. (talk) 09:05, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I had a closer look at the section in question, and the text immediately preceding the list deals with landraces, though the term was not mentioned. I have now added the term, and together with the expunction of Heck cattle from the list the situation should be clarified. --Roberta jr. (talk) 09:24, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

(I added a new heading to this section as FunMonks query was in danger of being lost and forgotten. -Roberta jr. (talk) 09:05, 3 April 2014 (UTC))

Dates in infobox[edit]

The top of the infobox states that the species existed from early Pleistocene to early Holocene, and the numerical dates given are 2.6 to 0.5 million years BP. The end dates are patently wrong. Extinction, in a species infobox like this one, refers to the last live specimens anywhere on the planet (cp. the article on the Woolly mammoth which uses the date for the very last ones on Wrangel Island, not the disappearance of the species from its wider habitat several thousand years earlier). So it really should be "Early Pleistocene to Middle Ages" or something. The numericals ("2.6 to 0.5/0.0004 Ma") might be skipped - the oldest fossils from India are around 2.0 Ma but we don't really know quite how long the early aurochs had existed before that point; the climate in India then and now isn't very conducive to fossilization of the remains of animals and there hasn't been near the amount of digging for fossils that there's been in some other regions either. (talk) 10:40, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

I have changed this now to "Temporal range: From early Pleistocene to 1627 (wild form) resp. Present (domestic form)", and I completely threw out the time line – I see no worth in an automated time line that ends with the Neogene, when the aurochs has only been attested for the following period, the Quaternary. --Roberta jr. (talk) 12:04, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

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