Two cows, sometimes with a calf, live on the cow paddock in the zoo. But they look quite different. Why is that so? How can you tell them apart and what do they have in common?
The two cows belong to different breeds: the black and white lowland cattle (black and white pied cow) and the red cattle (brown cow). It is easiest to distinguish them by color. The animal keepers of course know their cows very well and can also distinguish them blindly by their reputation or their behavior.
What they have in common is their physique: the paired hooves, the projecting and bent horns, the long tail chasing them away to fly, a large udder and the wide mouth are just a few examples.
You have now met the two cows. All female cattle are called cows. Do you also know how to call male cattle? And their boys?
The male adult and sexually mature cattle is called bull or bull. An ox, on the other hand, is a castrated male cattle. The young animal is called calf. In fact, cow refers only to female cattle that have already had a calf. Until the first birth, she is still called a heifer.
Our cattle always have an appetite. Check if there is still grass or hay on the trough. Then you can give both of them some and take a close look at the mouth. Where does such a cow actually have teeth? And how is that with you?
Cattle are ruminants. They feed exclusively on plants and have an adapted set of teeth. The incisors are wide and very well suited for tearing off leaves. In the upper jaw they have no incisors, but a so-called horn chewing plate. Then there is a long gap in the bit. Further back there is a long and wide row of molars with which the fibrous plant material is ground.
In terms of function, the teeth are similar to human teeth: incisors are used to bite off and molars to crush the food. As omnivores, humans still have clearly pronounced canines with which food can be torn off (e.g. a piece of meat).
Here someone tried to draw the same cattle twice. Are right to him
but a few mistakes happened ... can you find all nine differences?