The domestic bovine Bos taurus is raised worldwide for meat and milk production, or even for field work. However the functional anatomy of its central nervous system has received limited attention and most of the reported data in textbooks and reviews are derived from single specimens or relatively old literature. Here we report information on the brain of Bos taurus obtained by sampling 158 individuals, 150 of which at local abattoirs and 8 in the dissecting room, these latter subsequently formalin-fixed. Using body weight and fresh brain weight we calculated the Encephalization Quotient (EQ), and Cerebellar Quotient (CQ). Formalin-fixed brains sampled in the necropsy room were used to calculate the absolute and relative weight of the major components of the brain. The data that we obtained indicate that the domestic bovine Bos taurus possesses a large, convoluted brain, with a slightly lower weight than expected for an animal of its mass. Comparisons with other terrestrial and marine members of the order Cetartiodactyla suggested close similarity with other species with the same feeding adaptations, and with representative baleen whales. On the other hand differences with fish-hunting toothed whales suggest separate evolutionary pathways in brain evolution. Comparison with the other large domestic herbivore Equus caballus (belonging to the order Perissodactyla) indicates that Bos taurus underwent heavier selection of bodily traits, which is also possibly reflected in a comparatively lower EQ than in the horse. The data analyzed suggest that the brain of domestic bovine is potentially interesting for comparative neuroscience studies and may represents an alternative model to investigate neurodegeneration processes.

The Brain of the Domestic Bos taurus: Weight, Encephalization and Cerebellar Quotients, and Comparison with Other Domestic and Wild Cetartiodactyla

Granato Alberto;
2016-01-01

Abstract

The domestic bovine Bos taurus is raised worldwide for meat and milk production, or even for field work. However the functional anatomy of its central nervous system has received limited attention and most of the reported data in textbooks and reviews are derived from single specimens or relatively old literature. Here we report information on the brain of Bos taurus obtained by sampling 158 individuals, 150 of which at local abattoirs and 8 in the dissecting room, these latter subsequently formalin-fixed. Using body weight and fresh brain weight we calculated the Encephalization Quotient (EQ), and Cerebellar Quotient (CQ). Formalin-fixed brains sampled in the necropsy room were used to calculate the absolute and relative weight of the major components of the brain. The data that we obtained indicate that the domestic bovine Bos taurus possesses a large, convoluted brain, with a slightly lower weight than expected for an animal of its mass. Comparisons with other terrestrial and marine members of the order Cetartiodactyla suggested close similarity with other species with the same feeding adaptations, and with representative baleen whales. On the other hand differences with fish-hunting toothed whales suggest separate evolutionary pathways in brain evolution. Comparison with the other large domestic herbivore Equus caballus (belonging to the order Perissodactyla) indicates that Bos taurus underwent heavier selection of bodily traits, which is also possibly reflected in a comparatively lower EQ than in the horse. The data analyzed suggest that the brain of domestic bovine is potentially interesting for comparative neuroscience studies and may represents an alternative model to investigate neurodegeneration processes.
2016
11
4
1
14
Brain; Cerebellum
Ballarin Cristina; Povinelli Michele; Granato Alberto; Panin Mattia; Corain Livio; Peruffo Antonella; Cozzi Bruno
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1768193
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