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The Cattle The cattle are domesticated herbivorous mammals that constitute the genus Bos of the family Bovidae The cattle are of great importance to humans because of the milk meat leather gelatin glue hides and other items of trading they produce Cattle today are divided into two species B indicus which originated in India and is characterized by a hump at the withers and B taurus which originated in Europe and includes most recent breeds of dairy and beef cattle The common characteristics of cattle can be provided through classification They belong to the order Artiodactyla even-toed hoofed mammals and the suborder Ruminantia decreased number of teeth with the upper incisors missing and a four-compartmented stomachs Like others of the family Bovidae they have paired hollow unbranched horns that do not shed Other Bovidae that are so closely related to true cattle that they can still interbreed include the anoa bison gaur Indian and African buffalo and yak The wild cattle B primigenius of Europe were first domesticated in southeastern Europe about 8500 years ago which European cattle descended from The zebu or Brahman cattle B indicus were domesticated in southern Asia about the same time Early records show that cattle were used for sacrifice draft milk meat and sport Modern breeds of cattle were formed during the mid-1800s and most modern breeds were formed in the latter half of that century The definition of a breed is used to indicate animals that posses distinctive identity in color size conformation and function Cattle with similar characteristics however were present in these areas even before the idea of breeds became dominant Today about 274 important recognized breeds exist and new breeds continue to evolve Encyclopedia Britannica The male cattle is first a bull calf and if left intact becomes a bull If the bull is fixed he becomes a steer and in about two or three years grows to an ox The
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