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Bovines
Temporal range: Miocene to present
Buffalo Bull (Syncerus caffer) (11838910043).jpg
African buffalo bull
(Syncerus caffer)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Gray, 1821
Tribes

The biological subfamily Bovinae includes a diverse group of 10 genera of medium to large-sized ungulates, including domestic cattle, bison, African buffalo, the water buffalo, the yak, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is still debated, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal subgroups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include cloven hoofs and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns. The largest extant bovine is the gaur.

In many countries, bovid milk and meat is used as food. Cattle are kept as livestock almost everywhere except in parts of India and Nepal where they are considered sacred by most Hindus. Bovids are used as draft animals and as riding animals. Small breeds of bovid, such as the Miniature Zebu, are kept as pets.

Contents

Systematics and classificationEdit

 
Bovine skull.
 
Bovine skull.

EtymologyEdit

Bovine is derived from Latin bos, "ox", through Late Latin bovinus. Bos comes from the Indo-European root *gwous, meaning ox.

ReferencesEdit

  • International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (2003) Opinion 2027 (Case 3010). Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia): conserved. Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 60:81–84.

External linksEdit