fuck

fuck

Sunday, 9 March 2014

New photos of the Tauros Project on Rewilding Europe

Finally we get a sneak-peek on cattle of the Tauros Project we haven't seen before, like some second generation animals, but also of older individuals we are familiar with already. You can find those photos on the gallery of Rewilding Europe: http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I00001IhTqcO7NQg
These are very aesthetic photos in my opinion. Unfortunately all the images are gifs so no-one can insert them. But I'll link some of the more interesting photos here:

The all known Maremmana x Pajuna "Manolo Uno"
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I00001IhTqcO7NQg

A Limia cross calf, it's not apparent which combination it is, but obviously it has Highland in it:
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000MlPjnxPIfAw

Maremmana x Limia
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000YwU9ilpYRj8

(Maremmana x Pajuna) x Maremmana
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000.tTJyDMZ7dc

"Manolo Uno"
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I00002_y27VOBxdk

Limia
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000bjjMo2pR23Q

http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000iR6HDRS99HM

Sayaguesa in Campanarios de Azaba
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000r3HBaepNJCs

http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000Q.wCzYQ2mSo

Maremmana with whatever cross calf:
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000d0G.el0SycQ

Another Highland cross calf, exact combination not stated. Obviously is e//e, so I really wonder which combination it is.
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000WWwU2yYi1.Y

Pajuna
http://rewildingeurope.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/TaurOs-project/G0000FBhfa8_okhw/I0000RRHTGVHJYBw


What I - and I am sure a lot of other people too - really would like to see a document revealing all their crossbred animals (or at least the breed combinations that exist already) and qualitative photos showing what they look like, so that we know which crossbred animals we are looking at. This would be simply awesome, and certainly helpful for the Tauros Project's information flow.

20 comments:

  1. Pictures of the pure limit and Sayaguesa look better than the crosses... Maybe if they didn't use highland they would be farther along right now. Such a shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Highland slows down the process quite a lot. I think there are too many breeds in the Tauros project with too many unwanted features, IMO they'd only need:
      * Sayaguesa
      * Maremmana
      * Pajuna
      * Maronesa
      * Podolica

      Delete
  2. I think this is a big mistake for the Tauros project. http://www.truenaturefoundation.org/watusi-bull-ubutaha-arrived-in-lorsch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What exactly do you consider a big mistake? The highlands?

      Delete
  3. Follow my link to the website of True Nature Foundation, please.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's great news that they are using Watusi. I don't understand why people get so emotional about trying to preserve some sort of taurine "purity" in breeding back the aurochs. The true aurochs must have been a very diverse animal to be as widespread as it was. Adding a little watussi can bring back some of that diversity which was probably naturally there in areas of overlap anyways. Plus it brings much needed traits into the mix.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think it might be a mistake to use the Watusi breed in this project. Why you want to use Watusi cattle? What Watusi cattle property needed for this project? Do you need cattle with big horns? There are indigenous livestock breeds in Europe with very large horns, such as Portugal barrosa breed. No need to cross Watusi cattle for a large horns. Another breed I would not use is the Highland breed, that breed has very little fat body. With the watusi cattle crossing a herd is get a very heterogeneous with genetics. This project will require many more generations for them to get a homogeneous cattle, that also happens now with the Heck cattle, it's quite heterogeneous. I think it would be even better to use Heck cattle or Texas Longhorn cattle that use Watusi cattle.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would like to point out that the True Nature Foundation is doing the Uruz project which is different from the TaurOs project. It is the Uruz project using the Watusi X Chianina cross which is in the first stages (no calves as yet the cows are not even yet pregnant). On surface value this seems a little extreme at first, but their second breeding group is going to be simpler and more elegant- perhaps a Sayaguesa cross with a similar old auroch like breed. They may keep the total down to as few as four breeds. A four breed program would be the simplest program to date. Hard to argue with a simpler program to much when the other major efforts, Heck, Taurus, and TaurOs cattle use many more breeds.

    The other neat thing about the Uruz project is that they hope to use genome editing at some point. I suspect the fact that they are using even four breeds though which is a very long term project means that they have little faith the genome editing technology will be ready soon. If it was ready now I suspect you could use a really genetically auroch like breed such as Sayaguesa and edit it into an Auroch faster than one could be bred back. You would simply need an inbred strain of Sayaguesa or even a tissue culture with its full genome mapped and a full genome of Auroch then map out and edit the different alleles and produce an edited Auroch/Sayaguesa clone from the tissue culture. If this technology were truly ready it might be a game changer indeed. The passenger pigeon de-extinction project intends to use these methods.

    I really like Texas Longhorn cattle but you would have to be very careful to find or breed a useful strain not to introduce unwelcome traits like the piebald gene that has so plagued Heck cattle. If you had to breed a special strain just to include them I don't see how that is practical because it just adds more generations of breeding!

    I bet the TaurOs project people simply had Highlands available and a good Maremmana bull handy and wanted to get started and using the Highlands was just expedient. It will take a long time but if they really do start to evaluate and cull animals based on Auroch genomes and correct sequences it could be a very scientific way to achieve something that is genetically more auroch. I think the technique here is called something like genome assisted selection- and it may seem counterintuitive but it is not breeding by phenotype but by genotype, and it could be a very good way to get to something that is very auroch like. The problem here is not with excluding cattle with obvious bad traits, but including cattle that truly have segments of auroch DNA not contained by other breeds. So if Highlands were a source for some Auroch DNA not readily found in other breeds, then including them is not a mistake at all. If they aren't useful they perhaps should have waited or simply used the highlands as embryo recipients and flushed say a single Maremmana X Sayaguesa cross for the embryos. However its done now, so we can only wait and see if anything good comes from it. Maybe the Highland crosses in the TaurOs program will just get culled when genome based selection really starts.

    I also think it is silly to argue so much about heterogenous cattle. I think this blog has shown us a solution from the page about the Worth cattle. Linebreeding and inbreeding can be used to turn any heterogenous population such as Hecks into a homogenous and improved one such as the Worth Hecks. The purpose of all the crosses in Uruz, Taurus, and TaurOs cattle is simply to create heterogenous populations out of which homogenous populations can be selected. We could then cross several of the homogenous populations to produce bred back auroch populations with good heterozygosity or acceptable levels of hybrid vigour and variability so that they are not just inbred zoo animals when they finally arrive by whatever means.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have only a short answer for now: I'm going to provide some more information on the uruz project soon. Regarding Taurus: They actually only use 3-4 breeds as well: Heck, Sayaguesa, Chianina (and, but far less, Lidia). The Hortobagy population is another story, which I'll cover in the very next post.

      Delete
  7. You mentioned in your article on the Worth Heck cattle that a Sayaguesa hybrid from the ABU might add in a few missing features to the Worth cattle. It seems to me that Taurus cattle already have the Sayaguesa for truly primitive genes and traits, the Chianina for height, and Worth cattle a small Watussi influence for proper horn size. So crossing then stabilizing a Taurus X Worth lineage would simply be starting with animals that are farther along in breeding back and could be the fastest way to get closer to an Auroch phenotype.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that Wörth Heck would diminish the size and slenderness of Taurus cattle if used on a wider scale. The ABU thinks of adding one large-horned Wörth cow (so that their traits can be selected more carefully), but I also suggested Watussi to them, I think Watussi would be more advantageous because they are taller, slenderer and their horns are way larger.

      Delete
    2. I agree, not on a wide scale, just small scale to start. I think either 1 Worth cow or 1 Watussi cow might be a good addition. To the ABU Taurus herd. Though really in the case of the Worth the reverse- adding a Taurus animal to a Worth herd seems better- the Worth animals seem like they have more to gain from Taurus than Taurus from Worth. Oddly despite the good Watussi influenced horns it does not seem that the Worth animals got all they could have from the Watussi. Perhaps it would be interesting to add Watussi back into Worth genetics! Though the same could be said of Sayaguesa.

      However, thinking of the Uruz scheme. It seems like Chianina, Watussi, and Sayaguesa could be the key ingredients. Why not just use an admixture of Chianina and Watussi to create an improved Sayaguesa?

      Perhaps do something like create a herd of Sayaguesa bred for Auroch traits, then add in 1 Watussi cow and 1 Chianina cow. Castrate the bull calves from the F1 generation, then in the F2 and F3 generations just start to select out the individuals with the wrong color genes.

      If such a herd were then released into a large natural area with large predators and allowed to breed freely save for occasional removals of individuals with incorrect traits, it could be an interesting experiment.

      Delete
    3. I think that endless combinations of a few breeds can be made up because of the large diversity of the primitive breeds.
      I absolutely agree that Wörth would gain more from Taurus than vice versa. Using a large Taurus bull as a breeding bull might be problematic because of the small size of the cows, but adding good Taurus cows to the herd, getting a bull of intermediary size that covers the cows might be less problematic, and by back-crossing with the Taurus cows a successive size increase could be achieved.
      The problem with the Wörth individuals is that they are not an aurochs project but simply a herd with a maximum size of 20 individuals, what makes effective selection difficult.

      Delete
  8. What do you think about the horns of this bull? It's a barrosa bull of Portugal.

    http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/6600/8157674219511429dd15z.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is other barrosa bull with great horns.

    http://i48.tinypic.com/14t5y4k.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The horns of those Barrosa are still thinner than those of average aurochs, and would get further diminished by crossing, and selecting for such a trait takes a long time. So Watussi would IMO still be a better option. Watussi are, btw, larger and taller and don't have such a bulldog face like Barrosa.

      Delete
  10. The direction of the horns in the barrosa bull is much better than most Watusi bulls. Does the Watusi bull could carry genes for spots on the skin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The curvature is not necessarily better, especially in cows; but it would be pointless to use a breed for large horns that doesn't have the sufficient size/thickness. Some Watussi have the genes for spotting, but not all. Most Watussi in Germany actually have the wild type allele E+ but some weird modifers.

      Delete
  11. I'm no expert on breeding (a big horned and a small horned animal results in something in between?), but if what you say is true it would be even more interesting to use one of those specially bred watusi with ridiculously large horns (f.i. https://www.google.nl/search?q=lurch+watusi&client=firefox-a&hs=IWD&rls=org.mozilla:nl:official&tbm=isch&imgil=1eBIcFh2NE3wqM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcSA1vlqp-RpaPf_gWaFiYxgJO5uywmhx0fWW6aXG1bfOmNjMEdq%253B1360%253B1020%253B4lvz0K5dTfrzLM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.wikitree.co.kr%25252Fmain%25252Fnews_view.php%25253Fid%2525253D71695&source=iu&usg=__gwIjnrp5NzSt1j2Da8PrCA7woes%3D&sa=X&ei=50VzU4P1Au6z0QXR0IDwDw&ved=0CDgQ9QEwAw#facrc=_&imgdii=1eBIcFh2NE3wqM%3A%3BKZAmaRIMB8MbNM%3B1eBIcFh2NE3wqM%3A&imgrc=1eBIcFh2NE3wqM%253A%3B4lvz0K5dTfrzLM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.wikitree.co.kr%252Fwebdata%252Feditor%252F201206%252F09%252Fimg_20120609150011_d836c15b.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.wikitree.co.kr%252Fmain%252Fnews_view.php%253Fid%253D71695%3B1360%3B1020 ).

    Shape notwithstanding (although the sheer weight of those horns will have considerably altered the eventual form during growth), breeding with one of these animals will deliver the genes for much bigger horns into the population. In subsequent crosses with taurus-cattle those gigantic horns will get consistently watered down no?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thinking about it I guess that would also mean, that as a general rule (when crossbreeding) you shouldn't look too much for perfect (aurochslike) animals, but more towards animals with very exagerated features? As they will evently even out with animals, that have other another specific exaggerated feature....

    ReplyDelete