Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where's the beef??

bison latrifons

Bison latifrons

So Agricultural Biodiversity weblog pointed me to this release from the University of Adelaide which in turn led me to this abstract which says this:

Ancient DNA studies of bovid remains from Europe have detected four main taxa: Bison bonasus (the European Bison); Bison priscus (Steppe bison), Bos primigenius (Aurochs); and early Bos taurus (Daisy). Studies of bones recovered from caves in the Urals and Caucasus, and from material dredged from the North Sea, have revealed a fifth European bovid – the Caucasus bison. Previously recognised only as a sub-species of European bison, this taxon appears to represent a separate species, with more genetic diversity than Beringian populations of Bison priscus, suggesting a long evolutionary history and stable population size.

Which leads me rather excitedly to the following questions (which drift somewhat from the paper in question):

  1. When am I gonna be able to go watch GE Bison priscus wandering the Steppe?
  2. When am I gonna be able to go watch some GE Aurochsen wandering European nature reserves?
  3. When will I be able to see GE caucasus bison wandering anywhere?
  4. Will any of the above ultimately allow us to improve the genetic health of the two herds of Bison bonasus?
  5. How long before I can try a proper Aurochs burger?

I am intrigued greatly by this research and what it may ultimately mean.......

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I like the way you race ahead to the important consequences! They'll never allow GE burgers in Europe, will they?