Holly CowMother Cow
Areas of expertise
- Don’t Sleep Very Much
- Good Swimmers
- Highly Social Animals
- Originated in Turkey
- Female Cattle Are Called Cow and Male Are Called Bull
- MBA, Bronx Zoo University
- BS, University of Saint Louis Zoo
- PHD, Denver Zoo University
Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (Bos taurus or Bos primigenius taurus) are large domesticated cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus Bos. In taxonomy, adult females are referred to as cows and adult males are referred to as bulls. In colloquial speech however, cow is used as a common name for the species as a whole. Cattle are commonly raised as livestock for meat (beef or veal, see beef cattle), for milk (see dairy cattle), and for hides, which are used to make leather. They are used as riding animals and draft animals (oxen or bullocks, which pull carts, plows and other implements). Another product of cattle is their dung, which can be used to create manure or fuel. Around 10,500 years ago, taurine cattle were domesticated from as few as 80 progenitors in central Anatolia, the Levant and Western Iran. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are approximately 1.5 billion cattle in the world as of 2018. Cattle are the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, and are responsible for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, cattle became one of the first livestock animals to have a fully mapped genome.
Cows are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus Bos. Their scientific name is Bos taurus, and they live an average lifespan of 18 – 22 years where their average mass goes around 1,100 kg (Adult, Bull), 720 kg (Adult, Cow).
Fascinating Cow Facts:
1. All “cows” are female. Males are called bulls or steer. Before having a calf for the very first time, a female is called heifer. Then, once she has her first calf, she becomes a cow.
2. Cows can see almost 360 degrees. As a result of this near-panoramic view, they can watch for predators from all angles. However, they don’t see well straight in front of them and they will typically turn their head to look at you.
3. Cows have an acute sense of smell and can detect odors up to six miles away.
4. Cows are very social and don’t like to be alone. For example, when a cow isolates herself it’s usually because she is sick or about to give birth.
5. A cow has 32 teeth, and will chew about 40-50 times a minute. They have no upper front teeth. Therefore, when they’re eating food, they press their sharp bottom teeth against the top hard palate of their mouth to cut blades of grass.
6. A cow will chew for up to eight hours a day, and can move their jaws about 40,000 times a day.
7. Cows spend about 10 hours a day lying down.
8. Cows will stand up and lay down about fourteen times a day.
9. Cows can sleep while they’re standing.
10. The average body temperature of a cow is 102 degrees Fahrenheit.