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Theudanaz
Saturday, June 11th, 2005, 07:04 AM
http://www.jp.dk/indland/artikel:aid=3100620/


For the first time in 8500 years two aurochs calves were born in Denmark. They can be seen up close in Lejre's newly opened aurochs grounds. The young bull sticks his nose out from the fenced area. The bull will not be quite as big as the original aurochses, which had a shoulder-height of 180 cm. The aurochses at Lejre Research center aren't in the same lineage as the aurochses that lived in Europe in ancient times. The aurochs is extinct forever.

However the center's aurochses are reconstructed examples of the so-called Heck-type. They are the result of about 80 years' intensive breeding work set in motion by two German brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, who in the 1920s were the directors respectively of Munich and Berlin's zoological gardens. Starting from 14 old cattle races they created the reconstructed aurochs, which today is also called Heck-cattle.

What one sees at the Lejre research center are *cows* which in skeletal structure, hide, horn shape, etc. simulate the original aurochs. As far as size goes, they still lack about 40 cm. before reaching the gigantic stoneage-aurochs's shoulder-height of 180 cm.

Lejre's aurochses were brought there last fall from the Neandertal museum near Düsseldorf. The herd now constitutes eight beasts. A young bull, a bull born last summer, four cows and the two just newly born calves - a heifer and a bull.

The aurochs died out in Zealand and the islands 8500 years ago. The last example of the race was shot in Poland in 1627.

Elendil
Saturday, June 11th, 2005, 11:58 PM
Actually, I suspect they are (pretty much) the real deal.

Back when the aurochs existed, the Romans were raving about the seven-foot-tall German barbarians. Must have been something in the water. :D

Aragorn

Vanir
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 04:50 AM
That is absolutely fascinating. I doubt they could do anything similar with Woolly Mammoths though, how would they select for the woolliness :scratchhe

I was interested in seeing a picture of this reconstituted Aurochs, this is what I turned up...

http://www.grotte-de-han.be/images/aurochsgr.jpg
Which indeed looks exactly like the beast painted by our UP Hunter-Gatherer Ancestors in Lascaux...
http://users.aristotle.net/~swarmack/hodgraph/aurochs2.GIF

Also called the "primitive ox" or "oxen of the plain", the aurochs is the ancestor of all the bovidae.
Once widespread in Europe, it lived in the plains and at the forest's edge.
It became extinct in Poland in 1623. A German zoologist has "recreated" the breed by crossing cattle from the Camargue, Corsica, Spain and Great Britain.
This massive and strong breed has a dark coat with a light stripe down the spine.
It has long lyre-shaped horns.
It enjoys sounds health and lives to be at least 20 years old. An adult male weighs up to 900 kg.
The aurochs is a herbivore and also eats buds, young leaves, branches and some kinds of bark.
There is no particular time for the rut. After gestation lasting 284 days, the cow gives birth to a calf which is soon able to join the rest of the herd.
http://www.grotte-de-han.be/uk/han/aurochs.html

TisaAnne
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 05:18 AM
I was interested in seeing a picture of this reconstituted Aurochs, this is what I turned up...

http://www.grotte-de-han.be/images/aurochsgr.jpgI'm glad you posted a picture, SURT, as I was quite curious to see this beast as well. :thumbs:

I think that this is wonderful... this attempt "bring back" a remnant of the past, but I am a little disappointed. :snore000: I was expecting something a bit more, I don't know... massive.

This Aurochs, in appearance, is little more awe-inspiring than the average Texas Longhorn... but, I still think this project was well worth the time and effort, as the re-introduction of indigenous species to Europe is certainly not a vain undertaking.

Vanir
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 05:31 AM
I'm glad you posted a picture, SURT, as I was quite curious to see this beast as well. :thumbs:

I think that this is wonderful... this attempt "bring back" a remnant of the past, but I am a little disappointed. :snore000: I was expecting something a bit more, I don't know... massive.

This Aurochs, in appearance, is little more awe-inspiring than the average Texas Longhorn... but, I still think this project was well worth the time and effort, as the re-introduction of indigenous species to Europe is certainly not a vain undertaking.

I think the picture is a tad misleading as the aurochs is standing next to nothing that lends a comparison in size...
The article in Danish mentions 1.80m height, so I'd say that means 1.8m high at the shoulder. That is one bloody big beast, which corresponds with the 900kg weight figure, so try to imagine attempting to bring down something of that magnitude for dinner with only a spear as it is bearing down upon you at full speed! :O You'd have to be strong, steady and quick, that's for sure!

Puts the necessity for robust bone structure in that day and age into perspective!

Xanthochroid
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 05:38 AM
It seems not quite right... Can we bring back everything this way? Even the Nordic race if it dies out...? :worried1:

TisaAnne
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 05:38 AM
I think the picture is a tad misleading as the aurochs is standing next to nothing that lends a comparison in size...
The article in Danish mentions 1.80m height, so I'd say that means 1.8m high at the shoulder. I think this is referring to the size of the original Aurochs, not of this hybrid variety that has been cross-bred from domestic cattle.


What one sees at the Lejre research center are *cows* which in skeletal structure, hide, horn shape, etc. simulate the original aurochs. As far as size goes, they still lack about 40 cm. before reaching the gigantic stoneage-aurochs's shoulder-height of 180 cm.
But, I will not argue... I'm sure his size is sufficient. I was just expecting a bit more. ;)

Vanir
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 05:42 AM
I think this is referring to the size of the original Aurochs, not of this hybrid variety that has been cross-bred from domestic cattle.
Ahh, if that is the case I missed it, I just saw the 180cm figure amidst the Danish.


But, I will not argue... I'm sure his size is sufficient. I was just expecting a bit more. ;)


For Eyšimörk :) (and because everytime I look at these creatures it makes me laugh as they are simply so freakish) imagine they altered the aurochs to be myostatin deficient like the "Belgian Blue" breed of cattle, pictured here...
http://fig.cox.miami.edu/~cmallery/150/neuro/belgian.blue.jpg
BEEFCAKE! :laugh:

TisaAnne
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 05:52 AM
Ahh, if that is the case I missed it, I just saw the 180cm figure amidst the Danish. We only ever see what we want to see... :laugh:


For Eyšimörk :) :chinese:


(and because everytime I look at these creatures it makes me laugh as they are simply so freakish) imagine they altered the aurochs to be myostatin deficient like the "Belgian Blue" breed of cattle, pictured here...
This is insane... It looks like they've had this beast pumping iron in the gym instead of grazing in a field like his less ripped counterparts. :O

I cannot possibly believe that this breed of cattle derives such musculature from eating the standard cattle diet of grains and plant matter... Have you any knowledge of why/how this cow is so darn huge? Is it some kind of genetic tampering, or different type of protein-rich diet? 'Tis quite a strange animal... and more like something one would see at a freak show then on a cattle farm. :scratch:

Vanir
Sunday, June 12th, 2005, 06:13 AM
We only ever see what we want to see... :laugh:

:chinese:

This is insane... It looks like they've had this beast pumping iron in the gym instead of grazing in a field like his less ripped counterparts. :O

I cannot possibly believe that this breed of cattle derives such musculature from eating the standard cattle diet of grains and plant matter... Have you any knowledge of why/how this cow is so darn huge? Is it some kind of genetic tampering, or different type of protein-rich diet? 'Tis quite a strange animal... and more like something one would see at a freak show then on a cattle farm. :scratch:

Any mammal is a delicately poised balancing act of hormones, enzymes, etc.
We have a substance called myostatin that inhibits the growth of muscle in us (probably because muscle is an expensive tissue to maintain, so the body likes to balance need for muscle vs energy balance in this regard)
In that breed they have eliminated that substance, so they grow muscle in the manner you see. What until bodybuilders are able to access myostatin inhibiting substances, we'll be seeing some genuine freaks of nature then!

Dr. Solar Wolff
Tuesday, August 30th, 2005, 05:45 AM
Remember, domestication tends to increase genetic variability since multiple types are produced. There probably exists within domestic cattle most if not all the original aurochs genes. The representation of the auroch shown above has little hair and so must be a sub-tropical version. Some tough cattle in Scottland have an auroch look and longer, shaggy hair which is probably what Neanderthals saw and ate.

Erlingr Hįrbaršarson
Wednesday, August 31st, 2005, 08:58 PM
Aurochs? This animal was ancient and held a role of its own in norse Faith practise. Is there any means of extracting what scattered genes were survived through living species and resurrecting the creature to day?