Post by TrueNature on Aug 17, 2018 10:56:58 GMT -5
Hard to say, but at least, I think that we can say that Maronesa evolved from a taurine branch of Bos primigenius primigenius (Eurasian aurochs)...Sorry for not being more specific... South European aurochs and Middle Eastern aurochs (the one that gave origin to nearly all the taurine domestic cattle that you see alive today), seemingly were closely related genetically speaking (and even the North African aurochs as well), so it turns things even more difficult. Maronesa have the same paternal and maternal haplogroups found in some Iberian and Italian aurochs remains but also in some Middle Eastern aurochs (and their domesticated relatives). By phenotype alone, it seems very possible to me that Maronesa received additional South European aurochs influence, because it doesn´t look like early domesticated Middle Eastern cattle, but something more primitive... In Maronesa association website, they go further and speak about the Iberian aurochs, as the main ancestor, but I still have yet to see which evidence they have for that.
But I also know that Maronesa shares a paternal ancestor with Iberian Fighting bull (about which I have some conservation plans as well (and I´ll open a thread about it soon) and I hope to see herds of the primitive type being produced on the next few years). Unfortunately there haven´t been any recent major developments regarding the genetic research on local cattle, AFAIK, but I hope to make another summary about what is known, this year. All I know is that it seems more and less confirmed that there is a significative Eurasian aurochs bull introgression in several local native breeds and the apparently very rare worldwide Eurasian aurochs cow input was found in at least, a couple of Portuguese breeds (about which I´ll talk about later). There´s some possibility that this wild cow input will be found in more breeds, but that´s what is known by now. To have some extra insight on the subject, the aurochs domestication in the Middle East has been described has a very difficult achievement, probably because animals were particularly difficult to capture and tame (and not so many survived on the end). So the rarity, if proven to be the rule, is not very surprising. Plus I guess that we can imagine the reason that explains the disparity regarding the importance of aurochs bull vs aurochs cow input in modern local breeds: probably because aurochs bulls should get more success on spreading their genes, by mating with the domestic cows that they encountered (and farmers would keep the offspring), while aurochs cow input, probably should mean that wild cows, would need to get caught, more and less domesticated and incorporated on the domestic herd. It´s also interesting to understand why people kept this cattle, since it probably meant a throwback that was less desirable (in some aspects). Some authors disagree, and say that humans were interested in improving their cattle size and health, hence their interest in letting their cattle cross with aurochs. Others say, that it wasn´t intentional... Catarina Ginja, said that there aren´t any domestic breeds known left which are closely related with the aurochs, but some are related at an intermediate level (hello, hybridization). What I think, is that some more (or a lot more) aurochs remains need to be recovered so we can get more DNA information from it. Who knows, maybe some breeds are closer to the aurochs, than we think. To be honest, I wouldn´t be very admired that a breed that looks perfectly domesticated, has a lot of aurochs genes. We don´t know yet, which genes are responsible for the aurochs physical appearance (etc...), but we have a decent idea on how the aurochs looked like and that´s the reference that we use, to recreate the primitive type of some breeds (that still keep a decent physical similarity with certain aurochs types) and that are becoming very rare nowadays. I bet that´s more difficult (and probably more intriguing) to find a breed with evident wild cattle physical influence than a breed with evident wild cattle genetic influence. And I think that back breeding or recreation of the original primitive type (in some breeds) can increase greatly the similarity (at least, in some cases) and give a second chance to these endangered animals and the often unique sustainable (and environmentally friendly) way, on which it are kept.
Regarding the Maronesa horns development, yes, it could be because of wolves, but also because of intraspecific competition (bulls sometimes fight with each other).
PS: Sorry for my English, I´m typing in a hurry and it´s not my first language.
Last Edit: Aug 17, 2018 18:13:36 GMT -5 by TrueNature
Post by TrueNature on Jan 12, 2019 15:42:09 GMT -5
Here are some pictures of the Faia Brava Maronesa cattle that were selected by me (you may remember of some of it that are already on this thread, but this is just a overview and to resume the arrival of 2 cows on the reserve (last 20 th September)):
Maronesa bull (larger dewlap than the breed norm). He seems overfed, but has no back problems, since he´s not really standing up, but just trying to get a lower position on the other bull).
Cow surrounded by ferns
A good large Maronesa cow, but with horns growing outwards and not inwards, like it is usually seen on the breed:
Another one with the same feature, but from another breeder:
This large cow, seems overall good, but to be good example of the primitive type, she should have higher horns and a smaller udder (however she had a calf when this picture was taken, so maybe her udders are usually smaller than this):
Last Edit: Jun 14, 2019 5:18:08 GMT -5 by TrueNature
Post by TrueNature on Aug 11, 2019 12:53:40 GMT -5
During all these years, and regarding the main projects that aim to recreate the aurochs, 2 phenotypical aspects have been apparently hard to breed back: a)aurochs sexual dimorphism b)aurochs horn configuration... Maybe we could add aurochs body shape but probably living again on wild or even semi-wild conditions, could help to attenuate the difference. Some other physical aspects, could be mentioned, but these ones are possibly the most evident, in my opinion.
Recently, I had an idea, which was to select some Maronesa cattle (based just on web pictures) that had an horn configuration similar to that of the aurochs (in several aspects) and this is what came up (some you would recognize from recent posts):
The one looking at the camera (as I have told before some posts ago), because the others are crossbred cattle from TaurOs Programme.
5 year old bull
It seems that other primitive features become apparent, at least, on these individuals, once you go just after a more aurochs alike horn configuration.
Last Edit: Aug 11, 2019 13:30:24 GMT -5 by TrueNature
Interesting that horn shape and growth pattern can be linked to other genetic features. Reminds me how fertility fell in friesian cows as production rose, to a degree that reflected more than just neglect of a genetic trait and was recognised as an inverse relationship between the two.
Big Moo & Heidi (dexter cows), Little Moo (dexter steer), Jack (lowline steer), Ziggy (lowline x dexter steer), Flora (lowline cow), Jaffa & Scully (dexter x red angus cows), Io (lowline x jersey heifer) & Reilly (dexter x jersey steer) . About 18 sheep (dorper and awassi x white dorper), four cats (Sarge, Dusky, Hoot & Possum), Alvin & Poppy the Amazing Maremmas, 40-odd chooks and three geese.
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
May 23, 2019 13:07:11 GMT -5
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