At the end of the last ice age, the aurochs
was the largest herbivore in Europe.
The assemblage is dominated by species of temperate broad-leaf and mixed forests, such as elk, red deer, aurochs
, wild boar and beaver (Paaver 1965, 437 f.
The limestone slab has an engraved image of an aurochs
- an extinct wild cow - surrounded by rows of dots.
Although these paintings have been preserved in the sterile environments of the now famous Lascaux caves in France, the aurochs
were not so lucky.
But Britain is missing the heavy-duty herbivores like aurochs
(the ancestor of domestic cows) and wild horses that can help Turn to Page 32 From Page 31 halt succession.
And excited experts have also discovered tracks made by ancient animals, and frozen in time for millennia, such as red deer, wild boar, crane - and aurochs
Mitochondrial genomes of extinct aurochs
survive in domestic cattle.
Its Upper Paleolithic art--largely composed of visual imagery of animals (such as horses, deer, and aurochs
, who were ancestors of the wild ox)--is a reminder of hunter-gatherer communities who probably took refuge in the cave for shelter as well as for socio-religious practices.
Now Lascaux IV is due to be unveiled in the summer, and will be a virtually complete copy of the entire cave system and its 2,000 images - bulls, horses, aurochs
, big cats, a bird, a bear, a rhinoceros and one human - re-created using state-ofthe-art 21st-century interactive techniques.
The most important thing we know about them is that they were originally created and maintained by vast herds of grazing mammals, including wisent (European bison), aurochs
(ancestral cattle) and horses.
, stags, and horses on the walls at Lascaux were painted to be seen in the flickering torchlight, and would have shimmered with apparent movement.
The fruits of such a breeding program would not be aurochs
per se, but ecologically functional approximations of aurochs
But Stone Age people must have had a different view of Bessie's ancestors, the aurochs
So here's the deal evolution cut for us: We outsource grass digestion to the deer, gazelle, musk ox, elephant, caribou, elk, aurochs
, goat, sheep and, now especially, cow.
They mixed their paint in their mouths, spit from their mouths manganese mammoths, red ochre aurochs
, bison stampeding.