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Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

This is the skull of an aurochs. The aurochs is regarded as the ancestor of the modern cow. It is a very large animal. The bulls could reach between 160 and 180 cm at shoulder height. The cows were slightly smaller, reaching around 150 cm (Bos taurus) at shoulder height. The animal lived in mixed deciduous forests, but also in more southerly, warmer areas. During a cold period, it was not found in the northern areas or the steppes.

Around a million years ago, from the Middle Pleistocene, the aurochs lived in large areas of Europe and Asia. In the Netherlands, remains have been found until the later Middle Ages. The last aurochs in Europe died in 1726 in Poland.

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  • Title: Aurochs
  • Location: Large parts of Europe and Asia
  • Rights: Naturalis Biodiversity Center / CC-BY 4.0
  • Wetenschappelijke naam: Bos primigenius primigenius
  • Tijdperk: Middle Pleistocene - 400 AD.
  • Meer informatie: http://www.geologievannederland.nl/fossielen/zoogdier-beschrijvingen/oeros
  • Lengte: Length: three meters shoulder height to 1.8 meters.
  • Klasse: Mammal
  • Gewicht: To 1000 kg
  • Eetgewoontes: Grasses and herbs, but also twigs, buds and tree leaves


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