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Re: primers

On 8/12/04 10:55 am, "Dann Pigdon" <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:

> Although aren't cattle considered as two species (Bos domesticus &
> B.indicus)? Did they have a common ancestor when first domesticated (ie.
> are they both derived from Aurochs)?
    Cattle are considered _three_ (sub)species - _Bos taurus_ (European
cattle), _Bos indicus_ (Asian cattle), and _Bos africanus_ (African Sanga
cattle). All three are fully interfertile, and many breeds (e.g. probably
the majority of American breeds such as Beefmaster and Santa Gertrudis) are
derived from hybrids between the three, especially the first two. As such,
they are often regarded as subspecies of _Bos taurus_.
    _Bos taurus_ and _Bos indicus_ are, I think, regarded as independently
domesticated, the first from _Bos primigenius_ and the second from _Bos
namadicus_ (often synonymised with _primigenius_). Sanga cattle are probably
derived from an early hybridisation between _taurus_ and _indicus_. Another
species name. _Bos frontalis_, occassionally gets mentioned in old books as
an ancestor of specifically the European Shorthorn line of _Bos taurus_
(this line includes the majority of _taurus_ cattle - the European Longhorn
line includes only a few modern breeds such as the now-rare English
Longhorn). _Bos frontalis_ is now universally regarded as based on early
remains of _Bos taurus_.


        Christopher Taylor