Skip to comments.Giant cattle to be bred back from extinction
Posted on 01/18/2010 6:38:36 PM PST by Free ThinkerNY
Aurochs were immortalised in prehistoric cave paintings and admired for their brute strength and "elephantine" size by Julius Caesar.
But despite their having gone the way of the dodo and the woolly mammoth, there are plans to bring the giant animals back to life.
The huge cattle with sweeping horns which once roamed the forests of Europe have not been seen for nearly 400 years.
Now Italian scientists are hoping to use genetic expertise and selective breeding of modern-day wild cattle to recreate the fearsome beasts which weighed around 2,200lb and stood 6.5 feet at the shoulder.
Breeds of large cattle which most closely resemble Bos primigenius, such as Highland cattle and the white Maremma breed from Italy, are being bred with each other in a technique known as "back-breeding".
At the same time, scientists say they have for the first time created a map of the auroch's genome, so that they know precisely what type of animal they are trying to replicate.
"We were able to analyse auroch DNA from preserved bone material and create a rough map of its genome that should allow us to breed animals nearly identical to aurochs," said team leader Donato Matassino, head of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology in Benevento, in the southern Campania region.
"We've already made our first round of crosses between three breeds native to Britain, Spain and Italy. Now we just have to wait and see how the calves turn out."
The last animal disappeared from the British Isles in the Iron Age and the breed was declared extinct in 1627 after a female died in the forests of Poland.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
A 2,200 pound cow? That sure is a lot of BULL. (and Bullsh*t).
New business: 100% pasteurized pasture paddies, i.e. fertilizer. From the movie “Hard Bodies”
I want popcorn cattle that I can raise in my yard. 7 or 8 pounds when butchered.
Took a second try, but LOL!
Just imagine the cow patties as fuel!!
I’m putting in an order for a dimitredon.
How bout one of these?
Why? Wasn’t the point of domestication to make herbivores that were convenient to raise for meat? What’s the point of producing a breed that will need ultra-strong ultra-expensive fences and be unherdable by ordinary herding dogs?
I vote for the Tasmanian Tiger, which only went extinct in the 1930s, I think.
Not "wild." Feral!
I’ve seen sheep and pigs or boars which were “back-bred.” Originally sheep were not sheared, they were combed. The boars were developed from regular pigs and in fact the piglets still look like the barnyard varieties but the parents were scary. I guess that’s going on in Texas too. This was in a park in Ireland. Wonderful place.
You’d have to use dogs.
The Italian Boffins had better be careful about what they wish for. The Italians once imported water buffaloes to work the swampy rice areas and before they learned how to handle them, they wreaked a quite a bit of havoc and went wild. Took a while to get the beasts under control and domesticate them.
Buffalo Mozzarella is really made from Buffalo Milk!
And the Dodo. Should be easy, what with all the specimens hanging about museums.
Well, okay, but where do they get the itty-bitty flying buffalo they use to make buffalo wings?
You got that from Jerry Clower.
Knock him out John, knock him out.
Y’all just shoot up here amongst us.
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