STL Science Center

STL Science Center

31 October 2015

Shape of Bulls

Wikicommons user DFoidl uploaded this image
Oxen, in the United States, are typically pictured, I think, as those that are depicted in the computer game Oregon Trail. Infrequently oxen are seen in this country and that is what leads to the lack of proper depicting in the psyche of our country. That, of course, does not speak to all of the people in the country; surely some people in the United States have seen oxen in historic villages (e.g. Colonial Williamsburg, Plimoth Plantation), farms, and occasionally in a working capacity. Those of a working capacity are typically variants of the Bos genus, or we could call them Aurochs and be equally correct. Either way, the image seen here defines many of the anatomical characteristics that are associated with Aurochs. These characteristics separate our beloved fossil oxen from the domesticated versions of the species and from the other cattle that are often used for food rather than work. Regardless, the anatomy of the Aurochs is very bovine and the horns, while distinctive in their own right, are not 100% unique in the bovine world.

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