Zebu

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Zebu (Bos primigenius indicus or Bos indicus), sometimes known as humped cattle, indicus cattle, or brahmin cattle are a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent. They are characterised by a fatty hump on their shoulders, drooping ears and a large dewlap. They are highly adapted to high temperatures, and are farmed throughout the tropical countries, both as pure zebu and as hybrids with taurine cattle, the other main type of domestic cattle. Zebu are used as draught oxen, as dairy cattle and as beef cattle, as well as for byproducts such as hides and dung for fuel and manure.

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Taxonomy

The scientific name of zebu (or cebu) cattle was originally Bos indicus, but they are now more commonly classified within the species Bos primigenius, together with taurine cattle (Bos primigenius taurus) and the ancestor of both of them, the extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius). European cattle are descended from the Eurasian subspecies, while zebu are descended from the Indian subspecies.



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Origin

Zebu cattle are thought to be derived from Asian aurochs, sometimes regarded as a subspecies, Bos primigenius namadicus[1] Another wild cattle species, the gaur (Bos gaurus) may also have contributed to their development.[citation needed] Wild Asian aurochs disappeared during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization from its range in the Indus basin and other parts of the Indian subcontinent possibly due to inter-breeding with domestic zebu and resultant fragmentation of wild populations due to loss of habitat.[2]

Breeds

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