Cow Facts: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

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wikimedia.org

The cow is one of the most well-known and useful animals in the world. We use cows for their milk, their meat, and their power. However, how much do you really know about the animal itself? With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about the cow. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: They Share 80 Percent of Their Genes With Humans. It’s true! You share 80 percent of your genome with the cow. The bovine genome was officially mapped in 2009.

Number Fourteen: They Used to Signify Economic Wealth. And that’s how they got their name. The word “cattle” originates from the French word “chatel,” which is related to the word “chattel,” which means property. In less developed parts of the world, cows are used to indicate how wealthy someone is. The more cows a man has, the richer he is.

Number Thirteen: They Spend Half the Day Lying Down. It’s estimated that cows spend between 10 and 12 hours of every day lying down. That’s a lot of rest, but not as much as some other animals, like the cat. Cats spend about 70 percent of their lives sleeping.

Number Twelve: It’s Practically Impossible to Tip a Cow. Though cow tipping is considered a sport among rowdy high schoolers, the truth is that tipping a cow over is no easy feat and is likely not even possible. One study concluded that tipping a cow would require a force of 2,910 Newtons. That means it would take about five people to tip over one regular-sized cow.

Number Eleven: They Eat…a Lot. Dairy cows who are also milking can consume up to 100 pounds of feed every day! They need the extra food to continue producing milk. This has some interesting consequences (see below).

Number Ten: They’re Gassy. Cows produce up to 1,000 liters of methane, or gas, every single day. They produce the gas as a result of fermentation in their stomachs.

Number Nine: They’re Bad for the Environment. According to a study at Stanford University, cows are responsible for between 18 and 51 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Though 18 percent doesn’t sound so bad, 51 percent is quite significant. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about cows, coming soon!

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