Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Londo as an aurochs

There is an experience that I had made several times already; when I look at an individual and think "well, it does look quite aurochs-like", but when I visualize it in direct comparison with what an aurochs would look like, some noticeable differences become evident. That was the case when I attempted another aurochs reconstruction by manipulating a photo of Londo, a Taurus bull introduced here. Londo is the son of Lamarck, one of the best Taurus bulls to date, and does not look that bad (photo courtesy of Margret Bunzel-Drüke): 
I used this photo and increased the leg length until aurochs-like proportions are reached, changed the body shape to a slender-waisted one as in other wild bovines, and created the shoulder hump the aurochs had. Subsequently, I replaced Londo's head with that of a Lidia bull, which I slightly blurred in length. Then, I painted aurochs-like horn tips plus a white muzzle ring that the Lidia's head originally lacked. I think the result is pretty accurate. 
And now, see how much Londo actually differs from what we think a bull aurochs looked like (plus the size difference, which is not visible on this pic): 
(Please mind that I used the Lidia bull's head without permission of the owner because I was unable to find that photo on google again. So please do not replicate it. If the owner of the photo is seeing this, I'd be grateful to know whether it is ok that I used it or not, many thanks.)

This fact inspired me to do some sketches using photos of aurochs-like cattle showing what an aurochs in the same stance and position would look like. I did not have the time for that yet, but it is about to come. 


  1. A very useful comparison! Comparing Londo to a Heck bull the same age, it is obvious that the current attempts at breeding back has a much better base than the Heck brothers attempt back then. Considering the brothers spent 15 years achieving what they considered a success, it will be interesting to see what the current breeding programs can produce in the same time.

    Petter Bøckman

    1. As a funny coincidence, I am preparing an article on the Heck brother's work at the moment. Might be published today or tomorrow.