Possible tendency of polled cattle towards larger ears
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Background: the anatomy and physiology of bovid horns are consistent with their thermoregulatory function. Objective: to evaluate a possible correlation between ear and horn size, as key factors for body thermoregulation. Methods: measurements of horns (length and perimeter) and ears (length and width) were obtained from forty-six Pyrenean Brown (Bruna dels Pirineus) beef calves. The sample was randomly distributed between horned (n=34) and polled (n=12) animals, aged 332 ± 56 days. Results: a negative correlation between ear and horn size was observed (p<0.05) and the multivariate clustering demonstrated a tendency of polled animals towards bigger ear size. Conclusions: according to these results, horns and ears contribute to thermoregulation; this function is not therefore solely a function of big or small horns, as has normally been stated to be the case. Although the sample is small, results would indicate an interesting hypothesis for future research.
Is part ofRevista Colombiana de Ciencias Pecuarias, 2014, vol. 27, num. 3, p. 221-225
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