The primitive or European bull tour is an animal that became extinct in the 16th century and is the progenitor of the common modern cow. The closest related species of ancient wild bulls today are watussi.
Tours lived in the ancient eastern steppes and forest-steppes. Today they are considered a completely extinct population that has disappeared from the face of the earth. The main reason for the disappearance of these wild animals was the hunting and economic activities of mankind. The last specimens of the species died as a result of an unknown disease.
Origin of the species and description
In ancient historical documents, there are often detailed descriptions of very large horned animals that look like a bull tour. This is ur, uerox, reemu. There are numerous descriptions and graphic images of this wild big beast. Apparently, it was this animal that was originally the ancestor of the subsequently extinct bull-tur, which lived and spread everywhere in the wild, until the middle of the centuries AD
Video: Bull Tour
In the distant 16th century, the last unique copy of the wild tour was lost. On the planet there are twins of an extinct animal – Indian and African bulls, domestic cattle. Research, artifacts, various historical facts help to learn a lot of interesting things about the tour. Initially, there were a large number of tours on the planet. Gradually, the population of these animals decreased until it completely disappeared.
This is due to several reasons:
- with the labor activity of people;
- with interference with natural phenomena;
At the end of the 15th century, 30 individuals of these large horned animals were recorded on the territory of Poland. Very soon there were only a few left. At the beginning of the 16th century, the last copy of the wild tour, which exists in its natural habitat, died. No one can understand how such a tragedy could happen. It is noted that the last individuals died not as a result of human activity, but from a disease transmitted through the line of genetic heredity from ancestors.
After the ice age era, the giant bull tour was the largest hoofed animal, which is clearly confirmed by the photograph of the bull. Today, only wild European bison can match this size. Thanks to detailed scientific research and many historical descriptions, it is possible to describe with maximum accuracy the size, appearance and general features of the behavior of the extinct aurochs. But no one has been able to reproduce the animal yet.
Appearance and features
Researchers proved that the bull tour was a rather large animal. He had a dense muscular body, his height reached up to 2 meters. An adult bull could weigh over 800 kg. It was a powerful animal, the height at the withers could reach 1.8 m. The proud head was crowned with large sharp horns, up to 1 m wide, directed inward. This gave the bull a formidable, intimidating appearance. Adults were black in color with a white stripe down the back. Females and young were brown-red.
There were two subspecies of wild bulls: Indian and European.
The European bull was more massive and heavier. It was he who was the ancestor of modern cute domestic cows, which give a person a lot of benefits. Another notable feature of the tour was the humped back. This feature of appearance was inherited by the Spanish bulls.
The females of the ancient bull had a small udder hidden in thick wool. The herbivore ate and multiplied just like modern domestic bulls and peaceful cows, but it was distinguished by great strength and power. This gave them the ability to successfully resist any enemy and protect their offspring.
Tur, or an ancient wild bull, had many virtues that help him in the fight for survival:
- the animal had a thick dense coat and could endure harsh cold winters well;
- aurochs ate pasture, eating any vegetation;
- good adaptation;
- animals adapted well in any type of terrain and in any territories. In the forest zone, they felt great among trees and shrubs; in the steppe, animals could have freedom of movement and large herds;
- resistance to most diseases;
- the aurochs had well-developed immunity against all diseases and infections, which contributed to the high survival of offspring;
- females of the aurochs brought offspring annually, starting from the age of one. This gave a good growth of livestock throughout the habitat of animals;
- good fat content of milk;
- females had very fatty, satisfying milk. This enabled the calves to grow strong, resistant to diseases and infections.
Where did the bull tur live?
Habitat tour in ancient times were steppe zones and savannahs. Then he had to develop forests and forest-steppe, where animals could be safer and get enough food for themselves.
Often herds of wild bulls preferred to live in swampy areas. Modern archaeologists have unearthed a large number of bull bones in the territory of Obolon and Poland. There, the death of the last representative of this population from an unknown genetic disease was recorded.
What did the bull tur eat?
The ancient bull was completely herbivorous.
He ate everything that came in his way, his food was:
- fresh grass;
- young shoots of trees;
- leaves and shrubs.
In summer, the greenery growing in the steppe regions was enough for the bulls. In winter, the herds had to spend the winter in forest areas in order to feed themselves and not die of hunger.
In connection with the active deforestation, there was less and less plant food, so more and more often in the winter season the tours had to starve. Many of them died for this very reason, unable to endure the lack of food.
Character and lifestyle features
Wild tours led a herd life, where the female was always the head. Young bulls usually lived in a separate herd, where they could freely frolic, enjoying their youth and freedom. Old individuals preferred to retire in the depths of the forest and live completely apart from everyone, in the silence of their loneliness. Females with calves lived in the depths of the forest, hiding offspring from prying eyes.
In Russian folk poetry, the tour is mentioned in famous epics about Dobryn and Marina, about Vasily Ignatievich and Nightingale Budimirovich. In ancient Slavic rites, the bull is a costumed character who comes to Christmas time. In ancient Roman folklore and other cult rites, this image of the bull auroch was also often used as an expression of strength, power and invincibility.
The extinct wild aurochs left good memories and useful offspring. Modern breeds of cattle feed humanity with milk and meat, being the basis for the food industry around the world.
Social structure and reproduction
The rut of the tours fell on the first autumn months. Males have always waged a fierce struggle to possess the female. Often such fights ended in death for a weaker opponent. The female was always given to the strongest animal.
The calving took place in the spring months. The pregnant female, feeling the approach of calving, retired to the depths of the forest thicket, where the baby appeared. The mother carefully hid and protected her cub from potential enemies and from people for several weeks. If calving occurred at a later date, then the babies could not survive in the cold season and they died.
Often male aurochs copulated with domestic cows. As a result, hybrid calves were born that did not have poor health and quickly died.
Natural enemies of the tur bull
Turs were powerful and very strong beasts, able to withstand any predator. Therefore, in nature, they had no enemies. The main enemy of the bulls was a man. The constant hunting for tours did not stop for many centuries. A killed wild bull was an excellent trophy.
The meat of a large carcass could feed a huge number of people. There are many laudatory legends in history about how the ancient nobility was engaged in successful hunting for bulls, defeated them with the help of weapons or their ingenuity, getting valuable fur and a lot of meat.
Tours were calm and at the same time aggressive animals. They were able to cope with any predator. The mass death of wild bulls was recorded by people. Mankind tried to save animals in a variety of ways. They tried to protect, treat, breed in domestic and wild conditions. They were fed in the winter, delivering hay to forest huts and lands. But all human efforts were in vain, the population of wild bulls became smaller and completely disappeared.
Population and species status
In prehistoric times, the tour was found almost throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa, the Caucasus and India. On the African continent and in Mesopotamia, animals were exterminated even before our era. In European countries, tours were reduced much longer, until the 16th century.
The following varieties of the Eurasian tour are distinguished:
- Bos primigenius namadicus – Indian tour;
- Bos primigenius africanus – North African tur.
Intensive deforestation on the European continent contributed to the disappearance of the population. This was due to the growth of progress and the active development of the woodworking industry throughout the continent.
By the 14th century, tours already lived only in sparsely populated areas and remote forests located in the territories of modern Belarus, Poland and Lithuania. Wild bulls were taken under the protection of the laws of these countries and lived as pets in the protected royal lands. In the 16th century, a small herd was recorded near Warsaw, a little more than 20 heads.
Guarding the bull of the tour
Today you can meet domesticated descendants of the aurochs in Spain or Latin America. They are very reminiscent of their ancestor in appearance, but the weight and height of the descendants are much lower.
With the decrease in the territory of the forest, the livestock of the tour also decreased. Soon a complete ban on shooting the animal was introduced. But nothing could save the population from extinction, and the bull tour was lost by mankind in the recent 16th century forever, entering the list of species that completely disappeared from the face of the earth. In modern Spain and Latin American countries, fighting bulls, relatives of tours, are specially grown on special farms. They are used for demonstration participation in bullfighting shows, which are so popular in these territories.
In terms of the structure of their body and general appearance, fighting bulls resemble their wild relatives, but differ greatly in weight, which barely reaches 0.5 tons and growth – less than 1.5 m, which is much lower than their progenitors. Turobic is depicted on the modern national coat of arms of Moldova, on the coats of arms of such cities as the Lithuanian Kaunas, the Ukrainian city of Turka in the Lviv region. to our days sayings, proverbs, epics and rituals of Ukraine, Russia, Galicia. In Ukrainian musical folklore, the tur is often mentioned in wedding and ritual songs, carols and folk games.
Scientists are still unsuccessfully trying to experimentally derive an analogue of the tur bull, which has a super-powerful torso and great physical strength. But so far no one has been able to do it. The bull tour carefully keeps its secrets, not revealing them to anyone. The wheel of history cannot be turned back. Therefore, people need to come to terms with this tragic loss of the bull tour and be grateful to this ancient giant for their cute, kind and so useful cows.