Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Picture of the day: Indian aurochs with hump

I am going to start with doing pictures of the day, considering that I have so much material but so little time to put them into practice properly. So for now, a picture of the day. 

A while ago I did another post on the Indian aurochs, Bos primigenius namadicus. It also includes a new life restoration. In the post, I go over my anatomical speculations point by point. I have not yet considered the fleshy zebuine hump a probable wildtype trait of the Indian aurochs subspecies because it was not possible to identify any functional purpose for the hump (which is, in fact, a hypertrophied Musculus rhomboideus) in the literature yet. So I did not consider it a probable wildtype trait as it is apparently unfunctional. However, one of my readers pointed out to me that it might have display function. 
This idea is actually not that implausible. First off, Bantengs and Gaurs both rely more on display than combat fight than cattle do and as a consequence, they have a shorter and higher profile with high processus spinosi that are not muscled all the way up as in cattle. Also, their horns are more upright instead of fowards-facing as in the wildtype of cattle, the aurochs. Now the Indian aurochs has proportionally way larger and more wide-ranging horns than the European subspecies, which I suspect are less functional than smaller and more compact horns in combat. This might be a hint that the Indian aurochs relied slightly more on display than the European one. The zebuine hump definitely increases the height of the profile of the animal, as do the elongated processus spinosi in Banteng and Gaur. So perhaps the zebuine hump might indeed qualify as a possible wildtype trait, although this is pure speculation. 
And I could not hesitate to illustrate this idea: 
Most likely only contemporaneous art might resolve the question whether the Indian aurochs had this trait or not. 

I feel that my interest in the Indian clade of the aurochs and in zebuine cattle is increasing. Actually I plan to do more research on zebuine cattle, and maybe also do a zebu series on my blog. Lots of research to do, and so little time alas, so please stay tuned. 


  1. I posted some possible depictions of the Indian Aurochs on the old Carnivora Forum topic I started, and I've since moved some the replies from that thread, including the images and my discussions pertaining to them,to the new Carnivora.net

  2. A while ago you mentioned the possibility of hybridization of primitive back-breeding stock with wild bovids. Thinking about it, would something like that done with banteng be more applicable to a hypothetical Indian aurochs project?