Monday, 25 March 2019

First Chianina x Watussi is born

Today, the Auerrind project announced that the first Chianina x Watussi calf was born this week. It's a cow calf.

I am very happy to see first individuals of this cross combinations being born. It will be very interesting to see how it will work out in terms of body shape, size, horn size, horn curvature, coat colour - everything will be very tempting to watch in this combination. I am so much looking forward to see this calf growing! 

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Aurochs model: Work in progress

Here are a few work in progress photos of my new aurochs bull model from air-drying modelling clay that I started in December 2018:

And you see, it is really moving on. The body is almost done, I just started on meaking the ribcage and abdomen a little bit broader as I felt it was too sleek for an adult bull. I use Lidia bulls and extant wild bovines a lot as a comparison. When the body and head is completely done, I will start doing the horns (originally, I planned to make replaceable horns in order to appreciate the variation within aurochs, but that turned out as too complicated so I will sculpt the most common type). After that, the last details that I am going to add will be wrinkles in the skin and hair.
The last step will be to paint it with acrylic colours. I will pay a lot of attention to make a truly convincing colouration.
The model measures 33cm at the withers, and you won't believe that I already incorporated about 10 liters of modelling clay into it.

I am really looking forward to see the model finished and it is great fun watching it progress. I am very, very happy that the model is arithmetically wonderfully anatomically correct, at least I was not able to find any mistakes. Actually, the model so far matches 100% what I imagine a grown aurochs bull to have looked like.

Video of very aurochs-like Lidia bulls

I recently found this video of a couple of Lidia bulls that I find to have a rather impressive morphology on youtube: 
The body shape of these bulls is superb and very wild cattle-like, also the horns of many of the individuals are well-curved and not all too small. If the extremities and horns just would be a little larger and the colour would match, they would resemble wild aurochs to a very large extent.  

I just say how it is: To me, Spanish fighting cattle are the most aurochs-like breed overall that is still extant today. 

Having herds of Lidia individuals like these and supplementing them with portions of Chianina (for leg length and overall size) and Watussi (horn size) would probably lead to stunning results. Then adding a little bit of Sayaguesa and Maronesa, and the strain would be superb from the optic perspective.