Timbre "Marianne et l'Europe" Jaune
20 x 26 mm - Feuille de 100 timbres
40,85 x 30 mm - Feuille de 42 timbres
L’aurochs est un bovidé disparu, ancêtre des races actuelles de bovins domestiques. Vraisemblablement apparu en Inde, il aurait ensuite migré vers le Moyen-Orient et le reste de l’Asie pour gagner l’Europe.
The aurochs was far larger than most modern domestic cattle, being approximately 2 metres (6.6 ft) at the shoulder and weighing 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). Domestication occurred in several parts of the world at roughly the same time, about 8,000 years ago. The aurochs featured in ancient cave art, and more recently it was regarded as a challenging quarry animal, this contributing to its extinction. In the 20th century a breed of modern cattle was created that resembles a small aurochs.
According to the Paleontologisk Museum, University of Oslo, aurochs evolved in India some two million years ago, migrated into the Middle East and further into Asia, and reached Europe about 250,000 years ago. They were once considered a distinct species from modern European cattle (Bos taurus), but more recent taxonomy has rejected this distinction. The South Asian domestic cattle, or zebu, descended from a different group of aurochs at the edge of the Thar Desert in India; this would explain zebu's resistance to drought. Domestic yak, gayal and Javan cattle do not descend from aurochs. Modern cattle have become much smaller than their wild forebears: aurochs were about 1.75 metres (5.7 ft) tall, while a large domesticated cow is about 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) and most domestic cattle are much smaller than this. Aurochs also had several features rarely seen in modern cattle, such as lyre-shaped horns set at a forward angle, a pale stripe down the spine, and sexual dimorphism of coat color. Males were black with a pale eel stripe or finching down the spine, while females and calves were reddish (these colours are still found in a few domesticated cattle breeds, such as Jersey cattle). Aurochs were also known to have very aggressive temperaments and killing one was seen as a great act of courage in ancient cultures.
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