Perhaps the readers of our site know better than others how many animals exist on our planet. Previously, we have already managed to study many interesting creatures, up to the blackest fish in the world... Within the framework of this material, I propose to understandWhy do animals need horns, how they grow and who has the largest ones. I will say right away that African cows, referred to as Ankole-Watusi, are considered the owners of some of the largest horns. Once upon a time, African tribes considered them sacred and used them to the maximum, breeding for milk, meat and even blood. And they called them "insangs", which can be translated as "cows with long horns." But what size do their horns reach, what role do they play in their body, and how did these unusual cows manage to spread almost all over the world? Indeed, today they can be found not only in Africa, but also in the USA, Ukraine and a number of other countries.
The blackest fish in the world called long-horned sabers (Anoplogaster cornuta). You can look at their photos here, but let's first examine the horniest creatures.
- 1 The most unusual cows
- 2 What are horns for?
- 3 How did the cows appear?
- 4 The horniest animals
The most unusual cows
Watussi cows got such an unusual namein honor of the African tribe who thought of domesticating them. Despite the fact that cows were used as a source of meat, people used it very rarely. Most of all they were interested in watussi milk. All day long, the cows grazed in the field, and in the evening calves were admitted to them, which were allowed to take only a couple of sips of milk for the possibility of milking. Adult cows weigh up to 750 kilograms, but the weight of calves barely reaches the 23 kilogram mark. Once upon a time, not having the opportunity to drink enough milk, they died before even reaching adulthood.
Still, cows were considered sacred and moreall people were attracted by their huge horns. Their length can reach 2.4 meters, and their mass is equal to 45 kilograms. Individuals with the longest horns were held in high esteem and were considered the property of tribal leaders. For a long time, unusual cows lived only in Africa, but in the 1960s, a certain Walter Schultz transported a male and two females to the United States. They began to be actively bred, so now watussi can be found in Canada and even Ukraine. Animals tolerate travel well due to their strong digestive system, which is able to process solid food. They can also go without water for a long time.
You can read about how people domesticated cats in this material.
The modern individual with the largest hornsa cow named Lurch is considered. In 2003, she entered the Guinness Book of Records, because the girth of her horns was 92.25 centimeters, and her weight reached 50 kilograms. Living in the American state of Arkansas, the amazing animal has become a favorite among tourists. In the photo you can see how the cow entertains the children. Unfortunately, everyone's favorite died in 2010 from an illness.
What are horns for?
Like many cloven-hoofed animals, hornswatussi are produced by the skin, just like nails, claws and hair. While many other creatures need horns for various purposes like protection, the scions on the heads of African cows are needed to regulate body temperature. The fact is that the horns are full of blood vessels, which are cooled by the wind and circulate fresh blood throughout the body. As a rule, this feature of the body saves African people in the heat, and it is not at all uncommon there.
How did cows come about?
It is believed that the ancestors of watussi areprimitive bulls, also referred to as tours (Bos primigenius). In their behavior, they were similar to ordinary cows and differed only in the outstanding size of the horns. These creatures lived on our planet until 1627 and became extinct due to human activities. However, the last specimen known to science died through no fault of humans. She died in one of the Polish forests due to illness. Most likely, she could infect other individuals, so they had absolutely no chance of survival.
See also: What kind of music do animals like?
The horniest animals
It is important to note that there are animals andwith larger horns. But their history is not as rich as that of Watussi cows. So, in addition to them, there are also the so-called water goats (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), whose horns grow up to 130 centimeters and weigh up to 250 kilograms. They are only found in males and are used in battles with other individuals. To impress the females, they cross their horns, rest their foreheads and do their best to crush the enemy.
Also worth mentioning are the mouflon sheep (Ovisgmelini), which inhabit the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia, as well as the Transcaucasia, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Twisted horns up to 65 centimeters long are also available exclusively in males. They are also used in combat, especially since males lead a predominantly solitary lifestyle. But females and lambs form herds of about 100 individuals.
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On the topic of unusual animals, I also suggestread the material of my colleague Lyubvi Sokovikova. In her article, she talked about the fastest animals on the planet. And we are talking not only about the well-known cheetah, which runs at speeds up to 115 kilometers per hour. You will also learn about the fastest fish, birds and insects. In general, all the fun is in one place!