The aurochs (Bos primigenius) is an extinct species of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle; it has also been suggested as an ancestor genetically to the modern European bison, which have been crossbred with steppe bison. The species survived in Europe until 1627, when the last recorded aurochs died in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland.
During the Neolithic Revolution, which occurred during the early Holocene, at least two aurochs domestication events occurred: one related to the Indian subspecies, leading to zebu cattle, and the other one related to the Eurasian subspecies, leading to taurine cattle. Other species of wild bovines were also domesticated, namely the wild water buffalo, gaur, wild yak and banteng. In modern cattle, numerous breeds share characteristics of the aurochs, such as a dark color in the bulls with a light eel stripe along the back (the cows being lighter), or a typical aurochs-like horn shape.
At one point during his invasion of the Elaboniannorthlands, the mage Balamung placed the spirit of a Trokme warrior into an aurochs, which he sent to kill Gerin the Fox. Despite its enhanced intelligence, Gerin managed to outwit and kill the beast. His coup de grace was delivered so quickly that Balamung was unable to pull the man's spirit out of the beast, so the man died too.
When Titus and Umma went on a date to the Carnuntum gladiator arena in AD 170, one of the featured acts was the loosing of a wolf pack upon an aurochs. A few wolves were gored by the beast's horns before the rest overcame the bovine and began eating it. Nicole Gunther, the 20th-century woman whose mind indwelt Umma's body, correctly surmised that the aurochs was extinct in her own time, and was horrified that people could enjoy eradicating endangered species for sport.