Staring down winter

© defotoberg/Shutterstock
2019-11-26

@Feel a chill in the air? Not these two. The first frosty blasts of winter have little effect on Highland cattle thanks to their unusual coats. The long-haired outer layer is oily and slicks off rain and snow, keeping the fluffier undercoat dry and toasty against their skin. These two Highlanders are in a national park in Drenthe province of the Netherlands, but the breed developed by natural selection—only the fittest survived—in the wet and windy Scottish Highlands. The original Highland Cattle Herd Book, which recorded Highland cattle pedigrees, dates to 1885, making Highlanders the oldest registered cattle breed in the world.

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