Where did cows come from

re: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/maurochs.html

In the staff report on evolutionary ancestors of cows I was reminded of some information included in the book The Longhorns by the late Texas folklorist J Frank Dobie. In this book he contends that the bovine that came to be known as the Longhorn “breed” was actually a mogrelization of various breeds of cattle that reverted to a wild state on the frontier. It has been a while since I read the book, but the descriptions of the wild cattle’s demeanor sounded very much like the demeanor of the auroch.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, thefensk, glad to have you with us. And thanks for providing the link to the column (which will not actually appear on the website until Tuesday March 23.)

I’m surprised to read that the last auroch would have died in Poland in the 1600’s. I always read/heard that the last one was killed in Switzerland during the 1700’s…

Forget it. I googled, but couldn’t find any reference about my swiss aurochs. I probably made this up.

Is it aw-rock or oh-rock? It seems there should be a joke here, but I don’t know it.

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: au·rochs
Pronunciation: 'aur-"äks, 'or-

More-or-less “or-ox.” The word is both singular and plural; one aurochs; several aurochs. (Although I suppose one could make a case for “auroxen.”)