Tauros Scientific Programme

Science is the foundation under the Tauros Programme. A coherent scientific approach is what the Tauros Programme distinguishes from other attempts to develop aurochs-like animals. Apart from this approach, the Tauros Programme has a large scale (with several hundreds of animals participating (2015). 

Our scientific research is being conducted by Wageningen University (in close cooperation with other institutes). Goal of our scientific programme is to know first of all which breeds are the closest to Aurochs. Other goals are to check whether or not the progeny develops in the right direction and to determine which determining features Aurochs possessed and whether or not we see these features developing in the offspring.

Research steps

So far the following steps have been taken as part of the scientific programme:

  • In 2009 samples of Aurochs-bones from archeological musea all over Europe have been collected;
  • These samples have been analyzed on useful 'ancient DNA' by Naturalis in Leiden subsequently analysed by the Universities of Groningen and Wageningen;
  • In 2009/2010 DNA-material has been collected from more than 30 different original cattle-breeds;
  • The aurochs-samples and samples of original ('primitive') cattlebreeds have been analyse with a sophisticated 770 K DNA chip as part of a running scientific programme of Wageningen University;
  • In the course of 2013 additional samples have been added to the  database thanks to a grand of Rewilding Europe. The results will be published in a scientific paper as well as in a more general report;
  • The results of this study will be published in 2 different scientific papers in the course of the second half year of 2015, now that a pHD is working on it (as part of the EGS-ABG project). The first paper will analyze the relations between the original breeds and Aurochs (by autosomal, mitochondrial and Y-DNA) and draw up relation diagrams and a genealogical tree. The second paper will focus into the features of the sampled animals (such as multi-copy variation);