Cattle

Cattle
CH cow 2 cropped.jpg
A Swiss Braunvieh cow wearing a cowbell
Domesticated
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bos
Species:
B. taurus
Binomial name
Bos taurus
Subspecies
Bovine range-2013-14-02.png
Bovine range
Synonyms
  • Bos primigenius taurus
  • Bos indicus
  • Bos longifrons

Cattle, or cows (female) and bulls (male), are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos taurus.

Cattle are commonly raised as livestock for meat (beef or veal, see beef cattle), for milk (see dairy cattle), and for hides, which are used to make leather. They are used as riding animals and draft animals (oxen or bullocks, which pull carts, plows and other implements). Another product of cattle is their dung, which can be used to create manure or fuel. In some regions, such as parts of India, cattle have significant religious meaning. Cattle, mostly small breeds such as the Miniature Zebu, are also kept as pets.

Around 10,500 years ago, taurine cattle were domesticated from as few as 80 progenitors in central Anatolia, the Levant and Western Iran.[1] According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are approximately 1.5 billion cattle in the world as of 2018.[2] In 2009, cattle became one of the first livestock animals to have a fully mapped genome.[3]

  1. ^ Bollongino, R.; Burger, J.; Powell, A.; Mashkour, M.; Vigne, J.-D.; Thomas, M. G. (2012). "Modern taurine cattle descended from small number of Near-Eastern founders". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 29 (9): 2101–2104. doi:10.1093/molbev/mss092. PMID 22422765. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Op. cit. in Wilkins, Alasdair (28 March 2012). "DNA reveals that cows were almost impossible to domesticate". io9. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Live Animals". FAO. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Archived from the original on 31 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  3. ^ Brown, David (23 April 2009). "Scientists Unravel Genome of the Cow". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2009.