Bos sauveli

Bos sauveli (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Cetartiodactyla
Ordo: Artiodactyla
Subordo: Ruminantia
Familia: Bovidae
Subfamilia: Bovinae
Genus: Bos
Subgenus: Bos (Novibos)
Species: Bos sauveli


Bos sauveli Urbain, 1937

Vernacular names
English: Kouprey
Português: Kouprey
Türkçe: Kupro

A kouprey (Bos sauveli, from Khmer: គោព្រៃ Khmer pronunciation: [koː prɨj] 'wild ox', also known as kouproh or grey ox), is a wild, forest-dwelling ox found mainly in northern Cambodia, but also believed to exist in southern Laos, western Vietnam, and eastern Thailand. It was discovered in 1937.[3]

Koupreys are very large ungulates, and can approach similar sizes to the wild Asian water buffalo. These bovids measure 2.1 to 2.3 m (6.9 to 7.5 ft) along the head and body, not counting a 1 m (3.3 ft) tail, and stand 1.7–1.9 m (5.6–6.2 ft) high at the shoulder. Their weight is reportedly from 680 to 910 kg (1,500 to 2,000 lb).[4] Reports of a body mass up to 1,700 kg (3,700 lb) from Vietnam are considered dubious, since they far exceed other recorded weights for the species. Kouprey have tall, but narrow, bodies, long legs and humped backs. They can be either grey, dark brown or black. The horns of the female are lyre-shaped with antelope-like upward spirals. The horns of the male are wide and arch forward and upward, and they begin to fray at the tips at about three years of age. Both sexes have notched nostrils and long tails.

Kouprey live in low, partially forested hills, where they eat mainly grasses. They are diurnal, eating in the open at night and under the forest cover during the day. They live in herds of up to 20, generally consisting of only cows and calves, but also bulls during the dry season.

There are estimated to be fewer than 250 kouprey left in the world. These low numbers are attributed to uncontrolled hunting by locals and soldiers, in conjunction with diseases introduced from cattle and loss of habitat.

However, no kouprey have been sighted since 1983, and during the last decade, several searches for the animal have proven fruitless.[5] The 2008 IUCN report lists the kouprey as critically endangered (possibly extinct).[6]

There is no captive population. The only individual in a western zoo was sent to the Vincennes Zoo at Paris in 1937; that was the individual designated as the holotype by Urbain. It died early in World War II.[7]

Relation to other species

Research published by Northwestern University in London's Journal of Zoology indicated a comparison of mitochondrial sequences showed the kouprey might be a hybrid between a zebu and a banteng.[8] However, the authors of this study have rescinded their conclusion, [9] and because a fossilized skull was found dating from the late Pleistocene or early Holocene epoch, they concluded the kouprey is not a hybrid. More recent genetic analysis has demonstrated the kouprey is not a hybrid.[10]


^ Timmins, R.J., Hedges, S. & Duckworth., J.W. (2008). Bos sauveli. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 29 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is critically endangered.
^ a b Grigson, C.: "Complex Cattle", New Scientist, August 4, 1988; p. 93f. URL retrieved 2011-01-27.
^ Urbain, A.: "Le kou-prey ou bœuf gris cambodgien", Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 62(5), 1937, pp. 305–307.
^ [1] (2011).
^ "Search for the kouprey: trail runs cold for Cambodia’s national animal". Phnom Penh Post, April 2006.
^ Timmins, R.J., Hedges, S. & Duckworth., J.W. 2008. Bos sauveli. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 March 2009
^ Hoffmann, R. S.: "A new locality record for the kouprey from Viet Nam, and an archaeological record from China", Mammalia 50(3), pp. 391–395.
^ Northwestern biologists demote Southeast Asia's 'forest ox'
^ G. J. Galbreath, J. C. Mordacq, F. H. Weiler (2007) An evolutionary conundrum involving kouprey and banteng: A response from Galbreath, Mordacq and Weiler. Journal of Zoology 271 (3), 253–254. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2007.00317.x
^ Cambodia's National Animal Is "Real," Study Says

Alexandre Hassanin, and Anne Ropiquet, 2007. Resolving a zoological mystery: the kouprey is a real species, Proc. R. Soc. B, doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.0830
G. J. Galbreath, J. C. Mordacq, F. H. Weiler, 2006. Genetically solving a zoological mystery: was the kouprey (Bos sauveli) a feral hybrid? Journal of Zoology 270 (4): 561–564.
Hassanin, A., and Ropiquet, A. 2004. Molecular phylogeny of the tribe Bovini (Bovidae, Bovinae) and the taxonomic status of the kouprey, Bos sauveli Urbain 1937. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 33(3):896-907.
Steve Hendrix: Quest for the Kouprey, International Wildlife Magazine, 25 (5) 1995, p. 20-23.
J.R. McKinnon/S.N. Stuart: The Kouprey - An action plan for its conservation. Gland, Switzerland 1989.
Steve Hendrix: The ultimate nowhere. Trekking through the Cambodian outback in search of the Kouprey, Chicago Tribune - 19 December 1999.

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