Bovids are the largest variety of hoofed mammals on the planet, having evolved into a myriad of diverse forms, from the bulky bisons and buffalo, to the graceful antelopes, to the cold-adapted muskoxen, amongst countless others. The one thing that all Bovids have in common however, is a pair of un-branched horns that are encased in keratin. All male bovids possess these horns (which is an attractant to females), and some females within certain species will possess smaller horns as well. The oldest known species of Bovid is a diminutive creature from Eurasia known as Eotragus from the Miocene epoch, approximately 18-20 million years ago. Eotragus was no larger than a duiker (a modern bovid), but its descendants would become much larger in most species, as their ruminant digestive systems would take in and digest the plentiful grasses to follow in the Miocene. Today, Bovids are global mammals, with wild species existing in Eurasia, Africa, and North America, and domesticated species also being brought to South America and Australia. The earliest known evidence of domesticated Bovids is the remains of sheep in southwest Asia, approximately 9,000-11,000 years ago.
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