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 ...
LOL! That guy must be on PETA’s 10 Most Wanted list.
I ain’t milkin’ that thing!
Why would they do that? Wild Boars aren't extinct.
After 60 straight days of Lake Effect Snow in Buffalo, even moderate drinkers looking through the saloon window can see the tiny creatures stampeding in the swirling flakes. (Personal obsvtn)
Doctor said to I was not to eat meat from a 3 legged cow.
You’d need a big pail, and pails hadn’t been invented yet.
Probably kilt ‘em, then milked ‘em layin’ down (and dead). And probably invented cheese early on — the supposed special tolerance for milk products is found in European family lines. :’o
Thanks Free ThinkerNY for the topic, and thanks Jet Jaguar and FrogMom for the ping and for tolerating my out-of-context replies. ;') Takes me a while sometimes.
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I hoof forgotten to ping you again.
By the look of that last picture, I’d say dibs on the Rocky Mountain oysters!
“One of us has got to have some relief!”