From Academic Kids

Scientific classification

Bos aegyptiacus
B. frontalis
B. grunniens
B. javanicus
B. sauveli
B. taurus

Bos is the taxonomic genus containing wild and domestic oxen. Bos can be divided into four subgenera: bos, bibos, novibos, and poephagus, but the distinction is controversial.

Bos is also a common surname in The Netherlands. It means forest in Dutch.

Bos is also a citycode in Boston MA.

Biology and Habits

Modern species of Bos are thought to have evolved from a single ancestor, the aurochs (B. taurus). This particular species survived until the 1600s when it was hunted to extinction. There are about 1.3 million living domestic cattle in the world today, making them the most numerous mammals besides humans. Members of this genus are currently found in Africa, Asia, eastern Europe and North America. Their habitats vary greatly depending on the particular species; they can be found in prairies, rain forests, wetlands, savannas and temperate forests.

Members of the Bos genus have a lifespan of 18-25 years in the wild, with up to 36 being recorded in captivity. They have a 9-11 month gestation, depending on the species and birth 1, or rarely 2 young in the spring.

Most species travel in herds ranging in size from 10 members into the hundreds. Within most herds, there is one bull (male) for all the cows (female). Dominance is important in the herds; calves will usually inherit their mothers spot in the hierarchy.

They are generally diurnal, resting in the hot part of the day and being active morning and afternoon. In areas where humans have encroached on the territory of a herd, they may turn nocturnal. Some species are also migratory, moving with food and water availability.

Most species are grazers, with long tongues to twist the plant material they favor and large teeth to break up the plant material they ingest. Many species are ruminant, having a four-chambered stomach that allows them to break down the tough plant material they consume.



Briggs, H.M. and Briggs, D.M. (1980). Modern Breeds of Livestock. Macmillan Publishing. ASIN B00071RPR8bg:Говеда fr:Bos pt:Bos


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