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):
- When am I gonna be able to go watch GE Bison priscus wandering the Steppe?
- When am I gonna be able to go watch some GE Aurochsen wandering European nature reserves?
- When will I be able to see GE caucasus bison wandering anywhere?
- Will any of the above ultimately allow us to improve the genetic health of the two herds of Bison bonasus?
- How long before I can try a proper Aurochs burger?
I am intrigued greatly by this research and what it may ultimately mean.......