The Aurochs are an extinct type of large wild cattle who once inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is an ancestor of our modern cattle and the Auroch survived in Europe until the last recorded one died in 1627 in the Jaktorow Forest in Poland. There were two attempts to domesticate the Auroch during what is known as the “Neolithic Revolution” (aka: the Agricultural Revolution) during our present Holocene epoch. One attempt was to domesticate an Indian subspecies of the Auroch which brought about Zebu cattle which are very large and look like Brahmas which, in fact, is a breed of Zebu (Bos indicus) first bred in the USA after being imported from India.
The other attempt at domestication of the Auroch involved a Eurasian subspecies which lead to Taurine cattle which are normally grouped with Aurochs and Zebus into one species (Bos taurus). Most modern cattle are Taurine cattle. During the time of the Neolithic Revolution (advent of agriculture) other wild bovines were also domesticated including the wild water buffalo, the guar, and banteng. It might be noted that some markings we see in modern cattle such as the dark color in bulls with a light eel stripe along the back and the lighter similar markings seen in cows and auroch-like horn shapes are modern characteristics derived from prehistoric Auroch breeding. Continue Reading