Anatomical studies, No. 61. A comparison of two of the so-called Zebus

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • Abstract:

    Summarising the position we have: Resemblances. 1. Both Zebu types originated in Asia. 2. Externally: (a) They have a coffin-shaped head with convex profile; (b) the dewlap is prominent; (c) the hump is well marked, but not characteristic, for it occurs also in the Sanga type. 3. Internally: (a) The thoracic vertebrae from No. 6 backwards have bifid spines. 4. Both have adapted themselves well to unfavourable environmental conditions, e.g. poor pasture, and parasites. Differences. 1. Origin: Lateral-horned Zebu originate from a pure parent stock while Shorthorned Zebu are a derived type arising through intermixture of Lateralhorned Zebu and Brachyceros. 2. Arrival in Africa: Lateral-horned Zebu arrived in pre-Christian times while Shorthorned Zebu arrived in Christian times. 3. Distribution in Africa: Lateral-horned Zebu are scattered and mainly south of the Zambesi River while Shorthorned Zebu form compact groups chiefly in East Africa, north of the Zambesi River. 4. Horns: Lateral-horned Zebu have horns which are oval in cross-section, long and laterally placed while Shorthorned Zebu have horns which are circular at the base, short to medium length and upright. 5. Hump: Lateral-horned Zebu have cervico-thoracic humps which are muscular while Shorthorned Zebu have thoracic humps which are musculo-fatty.