Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Banteng

Banteng Cow and Calf
Banteng are wild cattle that can be found in South and Southeast Asia. They have even been domesticated in some parts of their range, and it is estimated that there are around 1.5million domesticated individuals in the world, as compared to only a few thousand of their wild counterpart. In their domestic form, they are often referred to as Bali Cattle.

Banteng Bull
Though there are many Banteng in captivity, their wild populations are dwindling, and the species is considered to be Endangered. Hunting, habitat loss, and interbreeding with Cattle have caused the population to decline, and they are becoming regionally extinct.

One neat little tidbit about the Banteng involves their coat coloration. Males and females are sexually dimorphic; though they are both born with reddish coats, over time the females will stay red and develop white stockings, while the males' coats will darken to an almost black color.

Another even more amazing fact is that the Banteng is the second endangered species to ever be cloned. A couple dozen embryos were implanted into female Cattle in 2003. Two calves made it through the entire pregnancy and were delivered by C-Section. The ability to clone endangered, and possibly extinct species presents new ways of maintaining the planet's biodiversity, though it is also important to maintain genetic diversity within the species as well.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : South and Southeast Asia
Size : Height up to 5.25ft (1.6m), Weight up to 1750lbs (794kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae -- Genus : Bos -- Species : B. javanicus

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