Genetically solving a zoological mystery: Was the kouprey (Bos sauveli) a feral hybrid?

G. J. Galbreath*, J. C. Mordacq, F. H. Weiler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A famous zoological discovery of the 20th century was that of the kouprey Bos sauveli, a medium-sized ox inhabiting Cambodian forests. The kouprey was suspiciously intermediate between banteng oxen and domestic zebu cattle in its structure. Mitochondrial DNA sequences of mainland banteng are compared here with a published kouprey sequence, and the comparison demonstrates a close relationship. Either the kouprey derives partly from banteng or (less likely) these particular banteng acquired kouprey DNA via recent genetic introgression. The kouprey may have been a feral hybrid form, a descendant of domestic oxen, rather than a natural species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-564
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Zoology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Banteng
  • Bos
  • Bos sauveli
  • Bovidae
  • Kouprey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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