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Otis, a character from Nickelodeon Movies' Barnyard
Toro the Bull from Warner Bros.' 1953 Bully for Bugs, directed by Chuck Jones.
Grace, from Disney's Home on the Range
Ferdinand the Bull, a character from 20th Century Fox's 3D feature Ferdinand
WoW's tauren
Female cow, art by Bob M. Guthrie

Bovines (subfamily Bovinae) comprise a diverse group of ten genera of medium to large-sized mammal ungulates, including cattle, bison, African buffaloes, water buffaloes, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes.


Bovine is derived from Latin bos (ox), through the late Latin bovinus. "Bos" comes from the Indo-European root *gʷṓws (male or female), meaning cattle (kăt'l).


General characteristics of bovines include cloven hooves and usually, at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns. Genetic selected hornless bovines are called polled. The largest bovine in existence is the gaur.

In many countries, bovid milk and meat are used as food by humans. Cattle are kept as livestock almost everywhere except in parts of India and Nepal, where they are considered sacred by most Hindus. Bovids are used as draft animals and as riding animals.

Small breeds of domestic bovids, such as the Miniature Zebu, are kept as pets. Bovid leather is highly durable and flexible and is used to produce a wide range of goods, including clothing and bags.

Bovines in mainstream culture[edit]

The following are a handful of examples of bovines' influence in mainstream lore:


Cattle (Bos taurus) are large domesticated, hooved herbivores. They are the most prominent and widespread of the modern members of the bovids, and they are grown almost exclusively for meat (beef or veal), milk, skin hides for leather, and their dung, which can be used to create manure or fuel. They are descendants of the extinct Aurochs (Bos primigenius).


  • A bull is an intact (i.e. not castrated) adult male. A father bull is called a sire concerning his offspring, a castrated male used for meat is called a steer (US), and a castrated male kept for draft or riding purposes is called an ox.
  • Cow is a female of the species A young female before she has had a calf of her own and who is under three years of age is called a heifer (p. heiferettes). Heiferettes with a calf lineage become dams.
  • Calves (s. calf) are young cattle, regardless of sex, until they are weaned, then they are called yearlings or stirks.
  • Oxen (s. ox) are, commonly, castrated adult male cattle used as riding animals and draft animals.
  • Bullocks are also castrated adult male cattle, which in this case are used to pull carts, plows, and other implements.
  • Maverick is an unbranded bovine of either sex (US/AU).


Bulls are more muscular and aggressive than the females of the species, and due to their temperament, handling requires precaution. Cows have prominent pink breasts on their underbellies called udder, and both genders play a significant role in beef ranching, dairy farming, and a variety of sporting and cultural activities, including bullfighting and bull riding.

Cattle are highly social animals, bonding to their herd mates (or, particularly if isolated, to human caregivers), and they engage in social grooming and play.

Bovines and furry[edit]

The minotaur is among some of the ancient mythical characters that have been adopted by the furry fandom at large thanks to its part-human, part-animal design. For example, Min, the minotaur from the webcomic series Dungeons & Denizens, is essentially an anthro bull.

The Tauren from Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft is also a fandom favorite due to the design and development effort Blizzard put into the species.

Cows are often seen in the furry fandom, with most involved in adult paraphilias like breast-themed (multiple nipples, various locations [chest or crotch area], multiple genders, etc.) or hyper-sexualized themes.

Known bovines in furry fandom media[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]