What was an auroch?

What was an auroch?

There are lots of extinct animals that people know about. For example, the woolly mammoth, sabre-toothed cat, dodo, great auk, etc. But not many people know about the auroch.


What were aurochs? Additionally, why did aurochs become extinct? 


Aurochs were big animals that lived about 394 years ago. They went extinct in the year 1627 and the last auroch to ever live was a female. Aurochs are also believed to be ancestors of domestic cows. They used to weigh about 1 ton (1,000kg). Each auroch lived for about 25-30 years. These animals also ate grass, twigs, and acorns. They lived in Asia, Europe, and North America.


Scientists have been trying to bring back the Aurochs. They have found cattle that share the same characteristics. For example, large stature, long legs, a slender and athletic build, horns curving forward, black coats in the males and reddish brown ones in females.


There are a lot of opinions about bringing back extinct animals. Student, Itzel Juarez gave her opinion. “I think it’s cool but weird! I think we should not bring them back because we don’t know how they will act once they are brought back alive,” she said.


The reason the aurochs became extinct was because diseases were spreading amongst them. Another reason for their extinction is that people hunted them down in order to get the horns. Romans used their horns to make hunting horns. People also used the horns for religious spirituality. 


Aurochs might not be a good animal to bring back to life. They were very aggressive with big horns that they could do lots of damage.  When scientists were working on bringing them back one of their main questions was, How do we know bringing an old cow into a new world will work out for the cow or the ecosystem we are trying to restore, much less what could happen if the breed escapes the boundaries of rewilded parks set aside for their welfare?” 


I think that aurochs are interesting animals to learn about and that it is interesting to learn about new animals. Plus, the aurochs were important to lots of religions.