Source: Nature: "Holy Cow"
Major corporate support for the Nature collection was provided by Canon U.S.A. and SC Johnson. Additional support was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the nation’s public television stations.
The various breeds of cattle reflect a combination of their origins and uses. By exaggerating desirable characteristics through careful selection, man has created 800 different breeds of various physical features. This video segment from Nature provides a quick look at six breeds of cattle.
Cattle originally evolved over millions of years through a process of natural selection-also known as “survival of the fittest”-which made them adaptable to a wide variety of environments, including most of those inhabited by another highly adaptable species: humans. Once humans discovered how to domesticate cattle about 4,000 years ago, they began to selectively, or “artificially,” breed them for specific desired traits like meat and milk production. This resulted in animals fit less for survival in the wild than the satisfaction of human needs, but in purely genetic terms, the arrangement has proven highly successful for cattle. Cattle now thrive throughout the world in over 800 different breeds, each more or less successfully adapted to their environment and the needs of their human caretakers.
This is the English Longhorn, one of the oldest recognized breeds in the World and the first bred purely for beef.
The Highland; a hardy breed from Scotland able to endure the most extreme conditions.
The Gloucester, an early dairy breed, celebrated for producing cheese.
Aberdeen Angus, renowned for meat production and the most popular beef breed in America today.
The South Devon, the largest British Breed....
And finally, the Hereford, the most widespread and adaptable of all cattle.
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