Scottish highland cattle

Cattle and aurochs

Cattle as a species include not just the domestic cows with which we are familiar, but the aurochs which are the ancestor to all cattle, domestic and wild. The very last aurochs died in Poland in 1627. However, Chillingham wild cattle give a good idea of how these wild ancestors of our farm animals behaved. These cattle can breed all year round, but most calves are produced in the spring or summer as poorer quality food in late autumn and winter delays the cows coming back into oestrus. The cows leave the herd to give birth, and the calves remain hidden for about a week before their mother introduces them to the herd.

Scientific name: Bos primigenius

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Cows,
  • Domestic cattle,
  • Wild cattle

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The following habitats are found across the Cattle and aurochs distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Farmland Farmland
Farmland is essentially a non-natural environment that has been deliberately cleared to make way for agriculture. The resulting patchwork of fields has been managed by tilling and ploughing, grazing, sowing and harvesting since the stone age.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web