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Encyclopedia > Gaur
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How to read a taxobox

A bull Gaur at Bandipur National Park, South India
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Bos
Species: B. gaurus
Binomial name
Bos gaurus
H. Smith, 1827

Range map

The Gaur (IPA gauɹ) (Bos gaurus, previously Bibos gauris) is a large, dark-coated ox of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The biggest populations are found today in India. It is also called seladang or in context with safari tourisms Indian bison, which is technically incorrect. The gaur is the largest of all wild cattles, bigger even than Asian wild Water Buffalo and Bison. The domesticated form of the gaur is called gayal or mithun. Image File history File links Gaur_bandipur. ... South India is a linguistic-cultural region of India that comprises the four Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, whose inhabitants are collectively referred to as South Indians. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... Animalia redirects here. ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses Subclass Allotheria* Order Docodonta (extinct) Order Multituberculata (extinct) Order Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Order Triconodonta (extinct) Order Volaticotheria (extinct) Subclass Prototheria Order Monotremata Subclass Theria Infraclass Trituberculata (extinct) Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals are a class of vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in females for the nourishment of... Families Suidae Hippopotamidae Tayassuidae Camelidae Tragulidae Moschidae Cervidae Giraffidae Antilocapridae Bovidae The even-toed ungulates form the mammal order Artiodactyla. ... Subfamilies Bovinae Cephalophinae Hippotraginae Antilopinae Caprinae A bovid is any of almost 140 species of cloven-hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae. ... Species B. acutifrons † B. aegyptiacus † B. frontalis B. gaurus B. grunniens B. javanicus B. planifrons † B. primigenius † B. sauveli B. taurus Bos is the genus of wild and domestic cattle or oxen. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ... Year 1827 (MDCCCXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... IPA may refer to: The International Phonetic Alphabet or India Pale Ale ... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Cattle are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... Map of South Asia (see note on Kashmir). ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... For the controversy at the University of Pennsylvania, see Water buffalo incident. ... Species B. antiquus B. bison B. bonasus B. priscus Bison is a taxonomic genus containing six species of large even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. ...



  • Bos gaurus laosiensis (Myanmar to China), the South-east Asian gaur, sometimes also known as Bos gaurus readei. This is the largest gaur subspecies, and also the most endangered. Nowadays, it is found mainly in Indochina and Thailand. The population in Myanmar has been wiped out almost entirely. Southeast asian gaurs are now found mainly in small populations in scattered forests in the region. Many of these populations are too small to be genetically viable; moreover, they are isolated from each other due to habitat fragmentation. Together with illegal poaching, this will likely put an end to this subspecies in the not so distant future. Nowadays, the last strongholds of these giants, which contain viable populations for their long-term survival are Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in southern Yunnan, China, Cat Tien national park in VietNam, and Virachey national park in Cambodia. These forests, however, are highly under pressure, suffering from the same poaching and illegal logging epidemic common in all other forests in South-east Asia.
  • Bos gaurus gaurus (India, Nepal) also called "Indian bison". This is the most popular subspecies, containing more than 90 percent of the entire gaur population in the world.
  • Bos gaurus hubbacki (Thailand, Malaysia). Found in southern Thailand and Malaysia peninsular, is the smallest subspecies of gaur.
  • Bos gaurus frontalis a gaur-cattle hybrid breed. It's not a domestic form of gaur, for the gaur has never been domesticated, due to its untamable disposition

The wild group and the domesticated group are sometimes considered separate species, with the wild gaur called Bibos gauris or Bos gaurus, and the domesticated gayal or mithun (mithan) called Bos frontalis Lambert, 1804.   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally south of the clouds) is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located in the far southwestern corner of the country. ...

When wild Bos gaurus and the domestic Bos frontalis are considered to belong to the same species the older name Bos frontalis is used, according to the rules of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). However, in 2003, the ICZN "conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms", confirming Bos gaurus for the Gaur.[1] The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is an organization dedicated to achieving stability and sense in the scientific naming of animals. It was founded in 1895 and currently comprises 28 members from 20 countries, primarily practicing zoological taxonomists. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Previously thought to be closer to bison, genetic analysis has found that they are closer to cattle with which they can produce fertile hybrids. They are thought to be most closely related to banteng and said to produce fertile hybrids. Species B. antiquus B. bison B. bonasus B. priscus Bison is a taxonomic genus containing six species of large even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. ... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Cattle (often called cows in vernacular and contemporary usage, or kye as the Scots plural of cou) are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... Binomial name Bos javanicus dAlton, 1823 The Banteng (Bos javanicus) is an ox that is found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Borneo, Java, and Bali. ...


Gaur are said to look like the front of a water buffalo with the back of a domestic cow. They are the largest and most powerful of all wild cattle. Males have a highly muscular body, with a distinctive dorsal ridge and a large dewlap, forming a very powerful appearance. Females are substantially smaller, and their dorsal ridge and dewlaps are less developed. For the controversy at the University of Pennsylvania, see Water buffalo incident. ...

  • Body Length: 250-360 cm / 8.3-12 ft.
  • Shoulder Height: 170-220 cm / 5.6-7.2 ft. On average, males stand about 1.8 - 1.9 m at the shoulder, females about 20cm less.
  • Tail Length: 70-100 cm / 28-40 in.
  • Weight: Males often 1000 - 1500 kg / 2200 - 3300 lb, females 700 - 1000 kg / 1540 - 2200 lb. Weight vary between subspecies. Among the 3 subspecies, the South-east Asian gaur is the largest, and the Malayan gaur, or seladang, is the smallest. The male Indian gaurs average 1300 kg, and large individuals may exceed 1700 kg, or 1.7 tons; whereas a Malayan gaur usually weigh 1000 - 1300 kg. The largest of all gaur, the southeast asian gaur, weigh about 1500 kg (1.5 tons) for an average male.

Gaurs are huge animals. They are larger and heavier than 3 types of rhinos, and only weigh less than the white rhino of Africa and Indian rhino of India. However, they stand taller than both species and are the only wild bovids to exceed a shoulder height of 2m. Size varies by region. The northern Indian gaurs do not differ in size from the southern breed; but, due to the largest concentration of gaur in the south, more of the larger, better specimens can be seen here than any where else in the country. The dark brown coat is short and dense, while the lower legs are white to tan in colour. There is a dewlap under the chin which extends between the front legs. There is a shoulder hump, especially pronounced in adult males. The horns are found in both sexes, and grow from the sides of the head, curving upwards. Yellow at the base and turning black at the tips, they grow to a length of 80 cm / 32 inches. A bulging grey-tan ridge connects the horns on the forehead. Binomial name Ceratotherium simum Burchell, 1817 The White Rhinoceros or Square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is one of the five species of rhinoceros that still exists and is one of the few megaherbivore species left. ... Binomial name Rhinoceros unicornis (Linnaeus, 1758) Indian Rhinoceros range The Indian Rhinoceros or the Great One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is a large mammal found in Nepal and in Assam, India. ...

The horns are flattened to a greater or less degree from front to back, more especially at their bases, where they present an elliptical cross-section; this characteristic being more strongly marked in the bulls than in the cows. The tail is shorter than in the typical oxen, and reaches but little if at all below the hocks. A third feature is presented by the distinct ridge running from the shoulders to the middle of the back, where it ends in an abrupt drop, which may be as much as five inches in height. This ridge is caused by the great height of the spines of the vertebrae of the fore part of the trunk as compared with those of the loins; but it is a characteristic much less developed in the bantering than in either of the other two species. The three species have also a characteristic colouration, the adult males being dark brown or nearly black, the females and young males being either paler or reddish brown, while in both sexes the legs from above the knees and hocks to the hoofs are white or whitish. The hair is short, fine, and glossy, and the hoofs are narrow and pointed.[2] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 749 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (779 × 624 pixel, file size: 404 KB, MIME type: image/png) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Gaur ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 749 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (779 × 624 pixel, file size: 404 KB, MIME type: image/png) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Gaur ...

The gaur is easily recognized by the high convex ridge on the forehead between the horns, which bends forward, and thus causes a deep hollow in the profile of the upper part of the head. The ridge on the back is very strongly marked, and there is no distinct dewlap on the throat and chest. The flattening of the horns at the base is very decided, and the horns are regularly curved throughout their length, and are bent inward and slightly backward at their tips. The ears are very large, the tail only just reaches the hocks, and in old bulls the hair becomes very thin on the back.[2]

In colour the adult male gaur is dark brown, approaching black in very old individuals; the upper part of the head, from above the eyes to the nape of the neck, is, however, ashy gray, or occasionally dirty white; the muzzle is pale coloured, and the lower part of the legs pure white. The cows and young bulls are paler, and in some instances have a rufous tinge, which is most marked in individuals inhabiting dry and open districts. The colour of the horns is some shade of pale green or yellow throughout the greater part of their length, but the tips are black.[2]

Life history and reproduction

  • Gestation period: 275 days.
  • Young per birth: 1, rarely 2
  • Weaning: 7-12 months.
  • Sexual maturity: In the 2nd and 3rd year.
  • Life span: About 30 years.
  • Breeding takes place throughout the year, though there is a peak between December and June.]

Ecology and behaviour

Two gaurs
Two gaurs

In the wild, gaurs live in small herds of up to 40 individuals and graze on grasses, shoots and fruits. Where gaurs have not been disturbed, they are basically diurnal, being most active in the morning and late afternoon and resting during the hottest time of the day. But where populations have been molested by human populations, gaurs have become largely nocturnal, rarely seen in the open after 8:00 in the morning. During the dry season, herds congregate and remain in small areas, dispersing into the hills with the arrival of the monsoon. While gaurs depend on water for drinking, they do not seem to bathe or wallow. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A diurnal animal (dī-ŭrnəl) is an animal that is active during the daytime and sleeps during the night. ... A nocturnal animal is one that sleeps during the day and is active at night - the opposite of the human (diurnal) schedule. ...

A family group consists of small mixed herds of 2-40 individuals. Gaur herds are led by a single adult male. Adult males may be solitary. During the peak of the breeding season, unattached males wander widely in search of receptive females. No serious fighting between males has been recorded, with size being the major factor in determining dominance. Males make a mating call of clear, resonant tones which may carry for more than 1.6 kilometres. Gaurs have also been known to make a whistling snort as an alarm call, and a low, cow-like moo.

The average population density is about 0.6 animals per square kilometre, with herds having home ranges of around 80 square kilometres.

The gaur belongs to the wild oxen family, which includes wild water buffaloes. In some regions in India, the gaur is very timid and shy, and often shuns humans. When alarmed, gaurs crash into the jungle at a surprising speed. However, in South-east Asia, gaurs are said by locals to be very bold and aggressive. In these areas, the gaur does not fear the presence of human. They are frequently known to go down fields and graze alongside domestic cattle, and, sometimes killing them in fights. A gaur never bluffs when it charges. When wounded or angry, because of their huge size and power gaurs become quite dangerous and yield to nothing. Even a tiger would avoid taking on such an animal. A fight has been reported between a male Indian rhino and a bull gaur[citation needed], reflecting the strength and courage of the gaur.


Tropical Asian woodlands interspreed with clearings in the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia), Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam (IUCN, 2002).


At 7:30 PM on Monday, 8 January 2001, the first successful birth of a cloned animal that is a member of an endangered species occurred, a gaur named Noah at the Omaha Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. He was carried and brought successfully by a surrogate mother from another, more common, species, in this case a domestic cow named Bessie. The biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology was the first to succeed. While healthy at birth, Noah died within 48 hours of a common dysentery, likely unrelated to cloning. [3] January 8 is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see clone. ... The Siberian Tiger, a subspecies of tiger. ... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Cattle (often called cows in vernacular and contemporary usage, or kye as the Scots plural of cou) are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... The structure of insulin Biological technology is technology based on biology, especially when used in agriculture, food science, and medicine. ... Dysentery (formerly known as flux or the bloody flux) is the term for tenesmus (painful straining to pass stool), cramping, and frequent, small-volume severe diarrhea associated with blood in the feces. ...


The Indian Bison or Gaur is called Adavi Dunna in the Telugu language which literally means "wild buffalo". In Malayalam kattupothu and in Kannada Kaati. Telugu (తెలుగు) is a Dravidian language primarily spoken in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where it is the official language. ... Malayalam ( ) is the language spoken predominantly in the state of Kerala, in southern India. ... Kannada - aptly described as sirigannada (known to few as Kanarese) is one of the oldest Dravidian languages and is spoken in its various dialects by roughly 45 million people. ...

To the Adi people, the possession of gaur is the traditional measure of a family's wealth. In the Adi language, gaur are called "Tadok" and often referred to as "Mithun". Gaur are not milked or put to work but given supplementary care while grazing in the woods, until they are slaughtered. People traditionally described as Adi principally inhabit mountainous central Arunachal Pradesh state in North East India, in addition to a few scattered areas of South Eastern Tibet. ...

External links

  • Southeast asian gaur, deheaded by forest guard
  • Gaur bos gaurus Lambert from wildcattleconservation.org
  • Gaur introduction
  • ARKive - images and movies of the gaur (Bos frontalis)
  • Gaur fact sheet


Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wikispecies has information related to:
  1. ^ International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. 2003. Opinion 2027 (Case 3010). Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia): conserved. Bull.Zool.Nomencl., 60:81-84.
  2. ^ a b c Lydekker, R. (1893-96) Royal Natural History. Volume 2
  3. ^ Advanced Cell Technology. 2001. Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. announced that the first cloned endangered animal was born at 7:30 PM on Monday, January 8, 2001. Press Release of 12 January 2001. Downloaded at 18 September 2006 from [1].

  Results from FactBites:
Gaur - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (728 words)
The Gaur (Bos gaurus, previously Bibos gauris) is a large, dark-coated ox of the hilly areas of South Asia and Southeast Asia, which may be found wild or domesticated.
Gaur are said to look like the front of a water buffalo with the back of a domestic cow.
Unlike its aggressive cousin, the gaur is a very timid and shy animal, and often shuns humans.
Gaur, West Bengal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (913 words)
Gaur, or Laknauti is a ruined city, in the Malda district of West Bengal, India, on the west bank of the Ganges 40 km downstream from Rajmahal.
Gaur was sacked by Sher Shah in 1539, and was occupied by Akbars general in 1575, when Daud Shah, the last of the Afghan dynasty, refused to pay homage to the Mughal emperor.
Owing to the lightness of the small, thin bricks, which were chiefly used in the making of Gaur, its buildings have not well withstood the ravages of time and the weather; while much of its enamelled work has been removed for the ornamentation of the surrounding cities of more modern origin.
  More results at FactBites »



Little Tiger
29th June 2010
The gaur is the tiger's main prey in some parts, so it does not avoid it. The tiger is the strongest land animal!
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