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Greek Shorthorn - cow - Greece

Greek Shorthorn
(transboundary/brand name)

(most common name):
Brachyceros
(local/other name):
• Brachykeratiki

The Greek Shorthorn belongs to the Illyrian Shorthorn cattle group and is a brachyceros type.

The Greek Shorthorn coat colorings can be:
• light cream
• silver-grey
• light to dark brown
• black-brown

Brachyceros-type cattle are described as:
• small
• shorthorned
• having a long skull with a deep forehead
• having a red, brown or black coat

Brachy’ (Greek for ‘short’) and ‘cerous’ (Greek for ‘horns’) — makes ‘brachyceros’ a word essentially meaning ‘short horns’.

Archeological remains of brachyceros-type cattle date from the 6th millennium B.C. and were discovered during the 19th century. At the time, they were thought to be a different, distinct type of aurochs. Because of this, the remains were originally classified as Bos brachyceros (and, later, Bos longifrons, as in ‘long forehead’).

However, both Latin classifications (Bos brachyceros and Bos longifrons) were dropped when the distinctive long skull formation was found not to be a second type of aurochs — but to have evolved through domestication. ‘Brachyceros’ then became a word defining a particular cattle ‘type’ (i.e. having essential characteristics belonging to a group).

At the end of the 19th century, brachyceros-type cattle of the Balkan peninsula were given the group name of Illyrian Shorthorn (after the ancient Illyrians).


You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Greece and read about other Greek cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.