Biodiversity / Cattle / Genetics / Indigenous Breeds

How cattle colonized the world

Cattle Herded

Cattle and other livestock being trekked north in a great annual transhumance that takes place during the cropping season in Niger (photo by ILRI/Mann).

Over at Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog, Luigi Guarino has this to say about a new paper in Evolutionary Anthropology summarizing the history of domestic cattle, based on the latest molecular marker data.

‘Unusually, the authors at least attempt a flowing account of the origin and spread of a domesticated species, and even more unusually actually achieve it in places. Alas, the details of haplogroups and mtDNA vs Y-chromosome markers will keep intruding. Someone will write a review paper some day which gets the geeky stuff of summarizing all the molecular and other data out of the way upfront, and then just tells the story of domestication and dispersal as the old-fashioned, and no doubt now out of fashion, narrative historians used to do. Rather than annoyingly mixing up the two. . . .’

Read all of Luigi’s post or read the whole paper online at Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News and Reviews: ‘On the origin of cattle: How aurochs became cattle and colonized the world,’ by P Ajmone-Marsan, J Garcia and J Lenstra (2010), 19 (4), 148-157 DOI: 10.1002/evan.20267

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