Bos Taurus Cattle

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  Bos Taurus Cattle

     Bos Taurus cattle are the species of cattle native to Europe.  Due to centuries of European colonization, however, this species of cattle can now be found all over the world, including both North and South America, Australia, and some parts of Africa and Asia.

     Bos Taurus cattle live, on average, 18 to 25 years.  They are quadruped mammal herbivores, and survive by grazing on an enormous variety of plant life.  Extremely adaptable, different species of Bos Taurus live in a wide variety of environments, ranging from tropical rain forests to arid semi-desert plains.  Some species are migratory, moving throughout the yearly cycle due to food and water availability. 

     Bos Taurus are herd animals.  Herds range in size from a minimum of around ten members and up, with some herds growing into the hundreds.  Most herds have one dominant male who mates with all the females.  Female gestation takes about 9 to 11 months before birthing a single (or very rarely two) young in the spring.  Young cattle usually inherit their mother's position in the herd hierarchy.

     "Cattle" is just a generic term applying to a herd of Bos Taurus.  Different types of words are used to apply to individual cattle.  Young cattle of both genders are called calves.  Young females that have not yet given birth are heifers.  Adult females that have birthed calves are cows.  Adult, uncastrated males are bulls.  Adult, castrated males are steers.  Adult, castrated males used as draft animals are oxen (singular ox).  Cattle (of either gender) raised primarily to provide meat for human consumption are called beef cattle, while cattle raised primarily to provide milk are called dairy cattle.  Male calves of dairy cows used for veal are called veal calves.

     Bos Taurus cattle have been domesticated and herded by humans since before recorded history—archeological evidence suggests it goes back as far as the early Neolithic age.  Bos Taurus cattle are raised for meat (beef and veal), milk (and associated dairy products), their hides (leather), as draft animals, and even in certain sports.  For example, in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, bullfighting is a popular spectator sport.  In the southwestern United States, riding a wild bull is one of the main events of the rodeo competitions.

     Humans raise Bos Taurus cattle by allowing herds to roam freely over large rangelands and graze on the grasses and other scrub growing there.  In Europe and the western world, cattle herd movements are controlled mainly through the use of physical fences.  In places where scrub grows wild, but the soil is too poor for growing agricultural crops, cattle ranches are especially popular.  Through cattle herding (among other animals, such as goats), the land can still be put to productive use.  Depending in the breed, Bos Taurus cattle can survive though grazing in hills, heaths, marshes, moors, and semi-desert environments. 

     Through history, Bos Taurus cattle have been used as beasts of burden (and in some parts of the world, still are).  Oxen are generally castrated males from the larger and heavier breeds.  Although not as fast as horses, oxen could pull harder and longer and thus were used to haul enormous loads, such as felled trees in the logging industry.  Typical uses for draft cattle (oxen) include plowing, transportation, cargo hauling, and powering machines such as irrigation pumps or grain mills. This article researched and written by a paid professional ghostwriter.

 

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