Humans have long had a beneficial relationship with cattle, and cattle have long reciprocated. However, evidence from ancient artists left on cave walls has been, up to now, about the only history that modern humans had of that mutual relationship, reports Feedstuffs.
Enter genomics. The ancestry of domesticated cattle proves more complex than previously thought, reports a paper published in the open access journal Genome Biology. The first nuclear genome sequence from an ancient wild ox reveals that some modern domestic cow breeds, including the Scottish Highland and Irish Kerry, had wild ancestors that were British, as well as Asian.
The aurochs is an extinct wild ox species that ranged across the grasslands of Eurasia and North Africa 11,000 years ago. Domestication of aurochs gave rise to two major groups of cattle: Bos taurus and Bos indicus.
Read the Genome Biology article or read the Feedstuffs article here.